Lawyer: Eccleston probably won't see jail time in Gates hit and run

Updated: 08/27/2014 11:16 PM
Created: 08/27/2014 10:33 PM WHEC.com

Emotions were high outside of court for family and friends of Joey Pacheco on Wednesday.

Police say Mariah Eccleston, 20, hit Pacheco while he was walking along Howard Road in Gates earlier this month and left him to die.

Eccleston is charged with leaving the scene of an accident, resulting in death, but there is outrage from both the victim’s family and the community for what punishment Eccleston could face if she’s convicted. She’s out on bail while the case works its way through the court system, something that makes Pacheco’s family upset.

However, legal experts say Eccleston won’t even see the inside of a cell.

Pacheco’s family says they want to see her in jail for taking his life.

Eccleston is innocent until proven guilty, but if she’s convicted, what could Eccleston face as a sentence?

“It’s considered a non-violent felony offense, and because of that, believe it or not, jail time is not required under our law for this defendant,” said Kevin McKain, a lawyer in Rochester.

McKain says because Eccleston has no criminal record she will most likely get no jail time, but the sentence range could be as little as probation to as much as seven years in state prison.

In court on Wednesday, the case was waived to county court and is headed to a grand jury.

McKain says that is a process that could bring more charges.

“It is certainly possible that the prosecutor could present additional charges that what are faced right now, and the grand jury could vote to change those additional charges,” McKain said.

We will keep a close eye on what comes out of the grand jury, and we’ll bring you any updates as we get them.

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