REDWOOD CITY, Calif. - A graduate student charged in the car crash that killed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Halberstam was sentenced yesterday to five days in jail, but a judge recommended that he serve the time on a supervised work program.
Kevin Jones, 27, pleaded no contest last fall to a charge of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter stemming from the April 23 crash.
The University of California Berkeley journalism student was driving Halberstam to an interview with football legend Y.A. Tittle when the crash happened in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco. Prosecutors and witnesses have said Jones ran a red light while making an illegal left turn.
At the sentencing hearing in San Mateo County Court, Jones nervously read a statement expressing his remorse and said he would dedicate his career to upholding Halberstam's ideals.
"I am sorry for the Halberstam family's loss and I will never forget the pain they experienced," he said. He called the accident "the single worst moment of my life, one that I will never recover from."
Jones also was ordered to serve 200 hours of community service. The judge said Jones must complete the service in a school, where he could honor Halberstam's memory by helping children learn to read and write.
The charge had carried a maximum of a year in jail, but a plea deal with prosecutors had called for no more than 30 days.
Halberstam, the author of 21 nonfiction books, had been at work on one about the legendary 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants.
The 73-year-old won the Pulitzer Prize in 1964 for his coverage of the Vietnam War, a subject he revisited in his 1972 book, "The Best and the Brightest."