Warren Co. D.A. reacts to Alex West sentencing

June 06, 2017 10:22 AM

QUEENSBURY - During Monday’s proceedings, District Attorney Kate Hogan read part of a letter from 8-year-old Charlotte McCue's sister, Madison, to Judge John Hall.

“And then she talked about her being in heaven with other family members and that she will get through with her sister at her side,” Hogan said.

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Hogan’s remarks were followed by emotional impact statements from Charlotte's mother and several other relatives.

“Our middle child has been ripped from our existence all because of Alex West’s all day partying and negligent driving behind the wheel of his boat,” said Charlotte’s mother, Courtney McCue.

The prosecution asked the judge to give 25-year-old Alex West the maximum sentence for causing the Lake George boat crash that killed Charlotte and injured her mother.

That would have put in prison for seven and a third to 22 years on manslaughter and several other charges.

Instead, the judge sentenced West to five to 15 years in prison for causing that crash and leaving the scene following a day of partying on Lake George during what’s known as Log Bay Day.

Hogan said she respects the judge's decision.

“The judge’s job is to decide the sentence so we advocate…you'll note I didn't ask for a specific number,” Hogan said.

However, the lighter sentence was a shock even for West's attorney, Cheryl Coleman, who said she prepared her client for the worst.

“For that we're grateful,” Coleman said. “I'm real pleasantly surprised by that and I know Alex is too.”

Coleman said the sentence will help with the appeal the defense plans to file.  

“An appeal is planned but in the meantime, it certainly feels better to know that you're starting out from here (low) instead of from here (high),” Coleman said.

West told the court he's haunted by the crash.

“…knowing that I was part of something that took away a beautiful little girl,” West said.

Still, Hogan said West has shown no remorse for his actions, which makes this case stand apart from the rest.

“To know what you did and the magnitude of that devastation and to be so callous. And so I think that's what so striking about this case,” Hogan said.

Last month West, who is from Lake George, was convicted of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an accident and several other lesser counts.


Nia Hamm

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