WOBURN, Mass. -- A jury found a 66-year-old grandfather who plowed his car into a crowd of people outside a Stoneham elementary school guilty of negligent driving Thursday.
NewsCenter 5's Rhondella Richardson reported that the jurors in Woburn District Court deliberated for about 90 minutes before delivering the verdict that Enrico Caruso was negligent the day he got behind the wheel.
Caruso was blamed for the crash that injured 12 people, including a 5-year-old boy who had to have part of his leg amputated.
Sentencing was put off until May 17, but the prosecution has asked for an 18-month jail sentence for Caruso, followed by five years of probation. Officials also requested that Caruso's license be suspended for life.
Earlier Thursday, closing statements were delivered.
"In an attempt to avoid the other vehicle, he instinctively used his instinct to turn the wheel and the car ultimately crashed into a wall," defense attorney Bradford Keene said. "He told the officers that he pressed down hard on the brake pedal, but the car would not stop. This is not evidence of negligence."
"He hit people. He chose to turn his wheel to the right. He went right up on that sidewalk and he struck over 12 people. That is negligent operation," Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Clark said.
"Not every tragic set of circumstances has a criminal component to it," Keene said.
"Remember the testimony, the emotional testimony of Linda. She was sitting on that cement wall. She saw the car coming toward her son. She remembers that car crushing her leg and then coming at her again because it was still revving," Clark said.
"The prosecutor is going to ask you to find this man guilty of something, but that is not how justice is carried out," Keene said.
"Consider his speed. You heard testimony that he was flying across the sidewalk. Consider his physical condition. You heard that he had a prosthetic leg. Consider the defendant's control over the car. He had no control over that motor vehicle," Clark said.
Caruso, who has a prosthetic leg, was at the Stoneham last Oct. 1 school to pick up his grandson when his car jumped a curb and smashed into a crowd of 12 children and parents, pinning some of them against a concrete wall. source