SOUTH KINGSTOWN - Following an May 2013 plea of innocence, James Mulcahey, 46, of 13 Debra Drive, Carolina, pleaded no contest to one charge of driving while under the influence with death resulting on Wednesday. The charge stems from a fatal accident in South Kingstown in 2012 that took the life of Donna Eddy, 53, of Warwick.
Mulcahey was sentenced to 15 years at the ACI with eight years to serve, a $5,000 fine, a five-year loss of license, alcohol counseling, DUI school, and restitution for out-of-pocket health expenses.
The Eddy family designated one representative to speak on its behalf: Sarah Eddy, who lost her mother in the accident.
“I had my last conversation with my mom on Thursday afternoon, August 30, 2012. She was excited for her weekend,” said Sarah, bringing tears to the gathered crowd. “She was going to watch her granddaughter, Adrianna on Friday and then go to the movies with her boyfriend Rick on Saturday. She told me she would call me again on Sunday, unaware that she would be lying in a Providence morgue that day.”
Sarah continued to detail her late mother’s life as a 15-year Mohegan Sun employee and loving mother, making it known that Mulcahey was the only person at fault in the courtroom that day.
“She picked up Adrianna (a toddler at the time who sustained no serious injuries) on her way home from work,” she said. “But only made it about 1,500 feet before she was hit head-on by a truck driven by James Mulcahey. I do not like saying that my mom died in a car accident, because that leaves the assumption that that my mom might have been responsible for her death; that was not the case.”
Sarah then addressed Mulcahey directly, her eyes fixed on the side of his down-turned head.
“Everything that my family has gone through - the emptiness in our lives, the depression every day, the reason why everyone is in this room today - is all due to one man - and I use the word ‘man’ loosely. You are almost 50 years old, but you are not a man. You are reckless and selfish and you are a coward. Your actions and lack of remorse since that night have been nothing short of inhumane. I think everyone can agree that the wrong person died that night. Unfortunately, my mom is dead. What is even more unfortunate is that you are still alive.”
Sarah ended her statement with one last comment to Mulcahey, who was now in tears.
“Mr. Mulcahey, I hope you enjoy your last 14 days of freedom,” she said. “Because I’m sure the next eight years is going to be painfully slow for you.”
Superior Court Judge Melanie Wilk Thunberg talked Sarah back to her seat with a few words about her testimony.
“I’m sure your mom would be so proud to see the bravery and love you have showed here today,” she said. “I’m very sorry for your loss.”
Mulcahey’s statement was given through his lawyer, Craig Montecalvo, who said that Mulcahey was unable to give his statement clearly even to his lawyers without “breaking down”.
“Since the start of the litigation proceedings, Mr. Mulcahey has immersed himself in reflection and treatment,” said Montecalvo, with Sarah behind him shaking her head angrily. “He has engaged in a consistent and continuing pattern of acceptance and responsibility, which really culminates in this plea today. This continuation of acceptance of responsibility will remain undoubtedly through the imposition of sentencing and for the rest of his life. I would like to extend his condolences to the family of Ms. Eddy. He is sincerely sorry.”
Mulcahey will be surrendered to the ACI on April 23, a three-week stay of sentence assessed so that he can make arrangements his ailing father in the interim. He was released until that day on the same $15,000 surety bail that was previously assessed.