Former New Jersey police officer Pedro Abad is found guilty in the wrong way crash on Staten Island that killed two fellow officers. NY1's Lisa Voyticki got an exclusive sit down interview with Abad's lawyer after the verdict.
Moments after being found guilty on all 19 counts, including Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, the lawyer for Pedro Abad says the 29-year-old was "at peace" with the verdict.
"First time in 27 years that I've seen something like that," said Mario Gallucci, Abad's attorney.
Prosecutors said a heavily-intoxicated Abad left the Curves strip club on Arthur Kill Road on the morning of March 20, 2015, and drove the wrong way down the West Shore Expressway at 73 miles per hour.
The former Linden New Jersey police officer crashed head-on into a tractor trailer, killing two of his passengers, Joseph Rodriguez and Frank Viggiano, who were 28 years old.
A third passenger, Patrick Kudlac, 25, was injured and eventually testified against Abad.
Prosecutors said Abad's blood alcohol level was .24, which is triple the legal limit in New York.
"He kept telling me, 'Mario, how do you expect me to plead guilty to something that I don't remember?'" Gallucci recalled Abad saying.
Gallucci says his client suffered significant brain damage and memory loss. He says Abad has wanted to speak with the victims' families, and he will address them at his sentencing.
"He wants to apologize and tell them that this was horrible, that he's sorry, that he has no memory of it, and had he had memory of it he wouldn't do what he was going to do," Gallucci said.
In a statement, Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon said the "top-count conviction ensures that Mr. Abad will spend many years behind bars and that he is held accountable for the devastation he has caused."
"This is his third DWI," Gallucci said. "He was a servant to the community. I hope the judge takes that into consideration, but there's always the reverse to that; he should have known better as former law enforcement."
Abad faces eight to 25 years in prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced June 8.