AP NEWS

Man gets 3 years in horrific crash that killed Stamford father

February 19, 2019

BRIDGEPORT — David Henshaw went out for cigarettes and ended up killing a young father of three in one of the most horrific crashes first responders later said they had ever seen.

On Tuesday, the 64-year-old retired electrician, his left hand resting on a cane, stood doddering in the courtroom as he was sentenced to three years in prison. Behind him, the courtroom was filled with members of the victim’s family, many sobbing.

“There is nothing here to suggest an intent to cause a death here; it was clear it was reckless, and the consequences were horrendous — on Father’s Day,” Superior Court Judge William Holden lamented.

Police who first arrived at the collision scene on Main Street on June 19, 2016, thought a plane had crashed.

There was little intact of 31-year-old Felipe Soto or his vehicle. Pieces of Honda Civic were mixed with human body parts in a tree and scattered all over the area.

“David Henshaw dismembered my son, my last memory of my son was on a gurney in three piles,” Soto’s mother, Sonia Henry, told the judge, her voice cracking with emotion. “I began serving my sentence nearly three years ago… his (Henshaw) sentence will be nothing compared to mine.”

The Soto family, of Stamford, suffered another tragedy in January 2017, when Soto’s girlfriend and mother of his children was fatally shot while sitting in a car parked outside an East Main Street, Bridgeport, restaurant, leaving Soto’s children parentless.

A teenager was later convicted in her shooting.

Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Craig Nowak urged the judge to impose a 6-year prison term on Henshaw, pointing out that the defendant was driving at speeds up to 140 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone.

“He split Mr. Soto’s car in half. I’ve never seen a motor vehicle crash with that devastation and the fact that Mr. Henshaw was 100 percent sober makes it even worse. He made the conscious decision to drive that fast,” the prosecutor said.

In December, following a trial, a jury found Henshaw, of Edgemoor Road, guilty of second-degree manslaughter, misconduct with a motor vehicle and reckless driving for the death of Soto.

Soto had just pulled into Main Street from Fairview Avenue in his 1999 Honda Civic when he was broadsided by Henshaw, who according to testimony, was traveling up to 140 miles per hour southbound on Main Street in a 2006 Chrysler 300.

Henshaw’s car ended up on its roof. He was pulled from the vehicle by passersby.

Henshaw broke 10 ribs and an elbow in the crash.

Henshaw claimed he had no memory of the crash and couldn’t explain why he was going so fast. There were no mechanical problems with his car.

On the witness stand, he recalled he had sneezed at one point but couldn’t recall anything else.

His lawyer, James McCarthy, urged the judge to impose a suspended term, pointing out that in addition to the injuries from the crash, he is now suffering from lung and throat cancer.

Holden sentenced Henshaw to 10 years, suspended after he serves three years in prison and followed by five years’ probation. He did, however, agree to set an appeal bond of $400,000. It was unclear whether Henshaw could make that bond.