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‘My dad was my hero’: Trooper Clardy’s children, wife give emotional testimony at sentencing

Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas Clardy, an 11-year veteran of the force, was killed when he was hit by a car on the Mass. Pike. over three years ago.

David Njuguna 33, of Webster, was behind the wheel on that March day in 2016 and was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, negligent motor vehicle homicide, driving to endanger, and driving an uninsured vehicle on Nov. 12.

On Thursday, two of Clardy’s six children and wife addressed the Worcester District Court with tearful testimonies of a loved one’s life lost too soon.

“Our children have gone through a loss no child should ever have to endure. I have watched our children silently suffer. Always trying to be strong but knowing the tremendous pain and hurt will never truly subside,” Clardy’s widow Reisa said.

“My dad was my hero. My dad always made us laugh. Never caring what others thought. He would do anything just to make us happy.” 18-year-old Gabryella said before becoming overwhelmed with emotion.

Older brother Tyler Clardy stepped in to help saying, “I ask myself every day, ‘How is it possible that one day my father was here and now he is gone forever?”

“Those times of comfort humor and joy. The times of connection when everyone was together and happy. The times of relishing in a shared interest. The times of intimate and personal milestones. Those times are gone forever lost and stuffed away,” Tyler added.

Clardy’s youngest son Noah rested his head on his mother’s shoulder as judge Janet Kenton-Walker handed down her sentence in the case.

“I cannot bring you comfort, I cannot bring you peace, and I cannot go back and take that day away,” Walker told Clardy’s family before announcing the sentence.

Dozens of state troopers, family members, and friends looked on inside a packed courtroom as Njuguna was sentenced to 5 to 7 years behind bars with three-and-a-half years already served.

Evidence showed Njuguna was speeding and high on marijuana on March 16, 2016, when he struck Clardy’s stopped cruiser on the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton.

Njuguna, a medical marijuana patient, had purchased four joints about an hour before the crash.

Walker, however, found Njuguna not guilty of operating under the influence, saying “there is no consensus” on THC levels when determining impairment. She also found him not guilty of felony motor vehicle homicide.

The defendant’s lawyers argued that he had some sort of medical issue that caused a seizure and made him lose control of his vehicle.

Testimony in the case wrapped up on Oct. 29 after Njuguna was escorted out of the courtroom following an outburst.

“I’m really sorry for what happened,” Njuguna could be heard saying as officers escorted him out of the room.

In a statement, Massachusetts State Police said, “First and foremost, we are painfully cognizant that no sentence can return Trooper Clardy to those who loved him and love him still. This loss can never be restored, and everyone who loved or worked with Tom would prefer that the law allow for a sentence much more commensurate with the taking of a life under these circumstances. Nonetheless we are aware of the sentencing guidelines prescribed by the law and we are grateful for the court’s consideration of the severity of this offense. As we move forward, we continue to look toward and be guided by Tom’s example as a family man and a Massachusetts State Trooper, and our thoughts and hearts are, as ever, with his loved ones.”

 

 


from Boston News, Weather, Sports | WHDH 7News
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