R.I. teen faces sentencing in boating death
PROVIDENCE - A teenager faces sentencing this week for striking and killing his friend with a speeding motorboat two years ago.
Ryan Greenberg could receive up to five years in prison as part of a plea deal with state prosecutors. He pleaded no contest in May to a charge of reckless boating, death resulting.
Greenberg is expected to be sentenced Wednesday in Providence Superior Court.
Prosecutors say Greenberg, then 17, gunned a boat at Patrick Murphy, who had been kneeboarding behind the vessel on the Barrington River in July 2007. Investigators said Greenberg then warned witnesses not to talk about what happened.
Greenberg was charged during a short-lived state law that automatically tried 17-year-olds as adults for criminal offenses. The measure was intended to save money by placing juvenile offenders at the state prison, which costs less than the state Training School.
It was repealed months later after prosecutors realized the offenders were being placed in an expensive protective custody unit of the prison.
Still, Attorney General Patrick Lynch has said, Greenberg would have been treated as an adult regardless of the law change.
Prosecutors, who dropped a charge of second-degree murder as part of the plea deal, are seeking a five-year sentence - the maximum allowed under his plea agreement.
Greenberg’s lawyers are requesting home confinement, saying no purpose would be served by putting him in prison.
They say he accidentally struck Murphy after losing sight of him in the water.