Red Bank Teen Pleads Guilty to Vehicular Homicide
Adam Sofio faced a judge in court today and admits to causing the death of his friend, Paul Bradley, 18, of Middletown.
It’s been almost a year since Middletown teen Paul Bradley was killed in an accident on Cooper Road.
Now, his friend, and the driver of the car, Adam F. Sofio, 19, of Red Bank, has pleaded guilty to “vehicular homicide and assault by auto for recklessly causing the death … and severely injuring another by operating a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed while drunk,” Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw, Jr. said in a statement.
At a hearing today, Sofio entered his plea before Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci, which means that he could face up to 15 years in prison, Warshaw said. According to the plea deal’s parameters, the Prosecutor’s Office is expected to recommend that Judge Mellaci impose a six-year prison sentence on Sofio.
A charge of vehicular homicide in any case automatically implies that the charged, in this case Sofio, “must serve 85 percent of any sentence imposed prior to becoming eligible for parole,” the Prosecutor’s Office statement said, adding that Sofio’s sentencing is scheduled for May 18.
Sofio had turned himself in to Middletown police on May 9, 2011 and was taken to Monmouth County Correctional Institution, where he was held until posting $200,000 bail.
According to police reports, an investigation into the Feb. 27 accident that occurred at roughly 2 a.m., Sofio was the driver of a 1992 Honda Accord, which he was driving more than 75 miles per hour in a 25 mile-per-hour zone in the residential area in the Navesink section of Middletown.
His blood alcohol concentration test showed an intoxication level of .314 percent. The legal limit for someone 21 and older is .08 percent. For anyone under that age, any trace of alcohol in the blood at all is considered over the limit. Sofio is 19. According to investigation reports, Sofio admitted that he had been drinking, smoking marijuana and speeding.
Traveling at the high rate of speed, he lost control of his car, it veered off the road, jumping a curb, crashing into a tree and splitting the car in two. Bradley, 18, the front passenger, was pronounced dead at the scene. The rear seat passenger, John Vogel, 18, sustained serious injuries and was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center’s Regional Trauma Center, Neptune, and was treated and released, as was Sofio.
“As a result of his reckless actions and behavior, Sofio further admitted to causing the death of Bradley and serious bodily injuries to Vogel,” Warshaw’s statement said.
The cause of Bradley’s death was determined to be “head, chest and abdominal injuries due to being a passenger in a motor vehicle which was involved in a collision,” Deputy First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Michael Cunningham had said at the time of the accident.
Vogel, who was the right rear passenger of the car, sustained a fractured right femur and a dislocated pelvis. Sofio had a fracture in the middle of his back and a left hip fracture/dislocation, he added.
All three were students at Brookdale Community College at the time of the accident.
The charges Sofio faces — vehicular homicide and assault by auto — are second and third degree offenses, respectively, with vehicular homicide carrying a maximum 10-year prison sentence and assault by auto a maximum of five years.
Sofio’s attorney is Mitchell Ansell, of Ansell, Grimm and Aaron, Ocean Township.