In a packed Suffolk County courtroom Friday, a drunken Plainview man who plowed into a patrol car and killed a police officer was sentenced Friday morning to up to four years in state prison.
Jose Borbon was sentenced to 1 1/2 - 4 years on the charge of first-degree vehicular manslaughter and one year for driving while intoxicated for causing the fiery crash that claimed the live of Suffolk Officer Glen Ciano.
Ciano was responding to a call for help from a fellow officer when Borbon's Dodge Magnum smashed into Ciano's vehicle, sending it careening into a utility pole and exploding into flames on Feb. 22, 2009.
Dozens of uniformed police officers and a host of family members looked on as State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle pronounced the sentence, the result of plea deal. Borbon could have faced considerably more jail time -- perhaps 10 years -- if the case went to trial. The sentences are to run concurrently.
Friends and family took to the stand to talk about what they lost:
The most poignent words were from Ciano's daughter, Samantha, who cried openly at the sentencing: "Overnight I lost the man who always made me feel safe and loved...the man who always inspired me," she said.
"This is a horrible consequence of this man's selfish act."
Judge Doyle said in his 36 years, he has "never seen an outpouring of support of this magnitude for a victim of a crime. This speaks volumes to the type of man he was."
Officer Fred Leyboldt, Ciano's partner since 2001 spoke of his personal friend: "Glen was the consummate professional. Anyone he came into contact with - all the individuals we rely on in order to do our jobs as police officers - Glen treated with respect."
“We both lived a wonderful life together" said Ciano's wife, Susan, after the sentencing. "I am lucky to have the memories that I have for my husband and our life and our time together with our children. It helps me get through this, to have those memories.
“Laws have to be changed. People have to be responsible for what they do," she added.
Borbon admitted to being drunk and talking on his cell phone at the time of the crash, which happened about 4:15 a.m. on Vanderbilt Motor Parkway and Commack Road in Commack.
Borbon wasn't hurt. He was charged at the scene with DWI. It was his second drunk driving charge in less than two months. He had been driving on a conditional license that allowed him limited driving privileges.
Ciano, of Bayport, a husband and father of two, was a 22-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police force. He was making a left turn responding to a call for assistance from a fellow officer when his patrol car was struck.
At a press conference following the sentencing, Ciano's mother called for tougher drunk driving laws, especially for repeat offenders:
"Laws have to change for drunk drivers and unlicensed drivers," said Johanna Ciano-Hazarian. "Previous things these people have done should be allowed in court to (shed light) on the type of person that disregarded the law."
Borbon was reportedly a father of twins.