ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A North Carolina man will spend the next 7 1/2 to 22 years in the New York State prison system after a fatal crash in the Town of Parma.
James Jacobs, 35, was sentenced Tuesday for the death of Stephen Kneeland. He pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and criminal possession of a weapon in December.
According to prosecutors, Jacobs was drunk on the night of March 20, 2022, when he crossed into oncoming traffic on West Ridge Road and hit Kneeland head-on. Kneeland died instantly. His wife and children were one car ahead of him, all heading home to Lockport from a swim meet.
Investigators said they found a loaded firearm in Jacobs’ car after the crash.
“James Jacobs acted in an incredibly selfish manner, disregarding the safety of others when he chose to drive under the influence of alcohol, resulting in the tragic death of Stephen Kneeland,” said Assistant District Attorney Kelly Pettrone. “It is my hope that Stephen Kneeland’s family can continue to heal while finding solace in knowing the defendant will spend up to 22 years in the New York State Department of Corrections. May they continue to mourn privately, outside the criminal justice system.”