R.I. man gets 15 years in prison for drunken crash that killed 3

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man who killed three women in a drunken car crash last year has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after apologizing to the victims’ families during an emotional court hearing.

James Belanger cried and said he “despised” himself during Friday’s hearing in Providence Superior Court. Before being sentenced he pleaded no contest to six charges related to the crash.

The accident in Pawtucket in April 2017 killed three passengers in Belanger’s car — 22-year-old Fatima Rosa, 20-year-old Emily Howell and 24-year Theresa Leary. Howell was the mother of a young boy. A fourth passenger survived.

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Police said the three women were not wearing seat belts when Belanger’s car crashed into a utility pole. Authorities say Belanger’s blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit.

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