Rockville driver in fatal 2011 crash sentenced to lengthened term for violating his probation

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy speaks about the Kevin Coffay case on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (WTOP/Michelle Basch)

A Rockville, Maryland, man who had spent prison time for the 2011 drunken driving crash that killed three of his friends received additional prison time Monday for violating the terms of his probation.

When Kevin Coffay was sentenced in 2012 in the drunken driving crash that killed three of his friends, he was sentenced to 15 years with seven suspended. On Monday, months after he had been sentenced for a variety of other driving violations, a judge ordered him to spend those seven years behind bars.

Coffay, now 28, was sentenced in Montgomery County Circuit Court to an additional seven years in prison — the suspended portion of his sentence after he was released in 2016.

Coffay was behind the wheel when 18-year-old Spencer Datt, 18-year-old Haeley Maguire and 20-year-old John Hoover were killed in a crash on Olney-Laytonsville Road May 15, 2011. Coffay fled from the crash; three hours later, he was found, and his blood-alcohol level was still twice the legal limit.

He was originally sentenced to 20 years before it was reduced in 2012 to 15 years with seven suspended. He was released on parole in March 2016.

The new sentence will begin after the sentence of two years plus 60 days Coffay was given last November for a variety of traffic violations, including driving after ripping a ignition interlock device out of his car, and driving without a license and car insurance.

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy did not fail to notice that it was Coffay’s third time facing a sentence.

“I think it’s very sad that we’re here,” McCarthy said at Monday’s news conference, but he went on to commend Judge Jeannie Cho for the sentencing.

“I will tell you, Judge Cho did her homework. She knew this case inside-out; she knew the dates; she knew the sequences and she knew exactly what was happening there,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy said prosecutors learned through an intercepted call from Coffay while he was in jail that Coffay had discussed attempting to “fake the court out” by claiming he was suffering emotional trauma from the crash.

“To hear that he was discussing with friends coming to court and gaming the court, claiming he had PTSD, is offensive to every person standing behind me,” McCarthy said. He added that the crash victims’ families continue to “suffer emotional trauma as a result of their loss.”

“That we are here is stunning to us,” McCarthy said.

Prosecutors said since September 2018, an ignition interlock device on Coffay’s car has caught him with alcohol on his breath more than 100 times.

WTOP’s Teta Alim and Rick Massimo contributed to this report. 

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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