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Woman Convicted Of Operating Under The Influence Of Alcohol, Causing Fatal Crash

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Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120

BROCKTON – A Brockton woman has been found guilty of being drunk and behind the wheel when she crashed her car into another motor vehicle, killing one person, and seriously injuring two others, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced today.

Today, at the conclusion of a bench trial, Brockton Superior Court Judge William Sullivan found Jeanne Heenan, 70, guilty of one count of Manslaughter while Operating Under the Influence. The Commonwealth requested Heenan serve 10 years to 10 years and one day in state prison, and a mandatory 15-year loss of her license to operate a motor vehicle. Judge Williams Sullivan ordered Heenan to serve one year in the house of correction with credit for 9 months she previously served, and the loss of her license for 15 years.

On October 12, 2018, Brockton Police were dispatched to a motor vehicle crash at 470 North Quincy Street. Upon arrival at the scene of the two-car crash, Heenan was on a stretcher and being placed into an ambulance. Heenan was operating a 2015 Buick Encore when it crossed over the marked lane into oncoming traffic and struck a 2006 Nissan Altima head-on. Inside the Altima were the motor vehicle operator, and a front and rear passenger, all with injuries. The three Altima occupants were transported to the hospital for treatment. Rear seat passenger, 72 year-old Ethel Rezendes, sustained serious injuries. She was transported to the hospital, where she remained for treatment until her death on May 1, 2021. The state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner found that Rezendes’s cause of death was complications of blunt force injuries, and manner of death was motor vehicle accident.

Investigators determined that Heenan was travelling 56 mph in a 25 mph zone five seconds before the crash. Heenan’s Buick Encore crossed over the marked lane and struck the Nissan Altima head-on. After the crash, investigators said Heenan’s eyes were dilated, she was slurring her words, and smelled of alcohol. Heenan’s medical records revealed that Heenan had a BAC of .20%.

On August 30, 2019, Heenan pleaded guilty to three counts each of Operating Under the Influence Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and Recklessness. She received a sentence of two years in the house of corrections, with 9 months to serve, and the balance suspended.

After Rezendes’s death, the Commonwealth sought, and a Plymouth County grand jury returned an indictment charging Heenan with the elevated manslaughter charge.

Assistant District Attorney David Cutshall prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office, and Brockton Police.

FEBRUARY 16, 2024