A judge sentenced Anthony Guarino to six years in prison on March 11 for his part in a drunk driving accident last summer, according to SignOnSanDiego.com. Guarino, 57, slammed his BMW into the back end of Marc William Durham’s Toyota as Durham sat at a red light. The accident involved four cars and injured eight people, including one child.
Durham, 65, was driving eastbound on Camino del Norte at approximately 9 PM when the drunk driver struck him from behind. Police measured Guarino’s BAC at .15, nearly twice the legal limit in California. Durham was a former security chief for BAE Systems and was only one week into his retirement.
“He was just so excited to retire,” said widow Elaine Durham, his wife of 42 years. Durham leaves behind five children and several grandchildren.
Guarino had initially pleaded not guilty to the three felonies with which authorities charged him. Judge John Einhorn sentenced Guarino to a middle term sentence.
“Two good guys—one’s dead and one’s going to prison,” Einhorn told SignOnSanDiego.com. “Nobody wins. It’s a sad day.” Guarino offered his apology to Durham’s family, who was present at the sentencing.
“I made a thoughtless decision to drive drunk,” Guarino said. “I wish I could go back and change it. I wish I could trade places with Mr. Durham.”
Elaine Durham and her family initially offered forgiveness to Guarino. “There’s no room in our heart for hate,” Elaine said. “I need that space to love my family and my friends. I have a daughter with breast cancer, she’s just been diagnosed and I need to put my focus on her, not him (Guarino).”
“I do forgive him,” Elaine expressed before Guarino’s sentencing. “I think his life is probably pretty miserable right now and I do forgive him, I do.”
“We will make it through this,” said Brandon Durham, Marc’s son. “It’s the loss of an amazing man. Anybody that knew my father is heartbroken with us.”
Despite offering forgiveness before Guarino’s sentencing, she later expressed disappointment in the length of the sentence.
“It doesn’t seem right that a man who never had a drop of alcohol in his life should die as a result of alcohol,” Elaine said.