A Porter man admitted Tuesday he was under the influence of drugs last year when the vehicle he was driving slammed into a tree, killing its passenger.
Patrick M. Pardee, 29, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of Matthew Maines, 32, of Ransomville.
The maximum sentence for the charge is seven years in state prison, but Niagara County Judge Caroline A. Wojtaszek said Pardee would not receive such a sentence when he returns to court on May 16. .
“I haven’t decided what I will do regarding sentencing,” Wojtaszek told Pardee. “I indicated to your lawyer that I did not see a scenario where I would condemn you to the maximum.”
Pardee’s vehicle left Lewiston Road near Riverdale Cemetery in Lewiston around 10 p.m. on June 18 and hit a tree.
Pardee himself was injured in the crash and was treated at Erie County Medical Center. He turned himself in to Lewiston police on August 25 and was charged with manslaughter, impaired driving, aggravated operation without a license and a traffic violation.
He had not been charged before agreeing to plead guilty.
On Tuesday, Wojtaszek ordered Pardee jailed in lieu of $25,000 bond. It was a figure set earlier, but Wojtaszek had authorized Pardee’s release so he could attend rehab.