Del Riccos & Baby Ava Close Painful Chapter - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Del Riccos & Baby Ava Close Painful Chapter

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SNOW HILL, MD - Friday morning, a Worcester County Judge sentenced Andre Kaczynski of Ocean Pines, MD to 10 years in prison for the devastating crash which left Baby Ava fighting for her life, last year, on December 16th.

In August, Kaczynski pleaded guilty to all charges stemming from the car crash on coastal highway.

Investigators say he was high on PCP and traveling 90 miles per hour when he slammed into the back of the Del Ricco's car, stopped at a red light on 142nd street.

Which is why, nearly 10 months after the accident, Ava's family and the State's Attorney fought hard for Kaczynski to serve the maximum sentence of 21 years behind bars.

"I'd like to personally thank Beau (Ogelsby) and his staff of the work they've done," said George Del Ricco, Ava's father, during a press conference after the sentencing hearing.  "I'd like to also thank the Ocean City Police Department for all the hard work they've put in on this case."

But in the end, the judge decided he should serve 10 years in prison with 3 years probation.

"I'm disappointed," admits Beau Ogelsby, "but yes, I respect judge Grondin.  I respect the decision and the job that the court has to do.  It's definitely not easy and I don't envy it."

George & Annemarie Del Ricco gave tearful testimony about their daughter's injuries and how the accident on Coastal Highway changed their lives forever.

George spoke on behalf of himself and Ava, which brought most of the courtroom to tears. The emotional father had difficulty reading the statement and broke down halfway through. Ogelsby took over.

Annemarie followed her husband with a statement of her own.  She admitted this time of year is difficult.  As the holidays approach, she told the court the pain is even more real because the accident happened on December 16th.  Before the car crash, she and Ava were picking up stamps for Christmas cards.  

Team Ava, locals who have continually rallied to support the Del Ricco family since the accident, were also in court on Friday along with a number of family members.    

Many admit they're disappointed the judge did not hand down the maximum sentence.

Especially considering prosecutors say Kaczynski has a long list of prior violations, from drug use, to driving under the influence of alcohol, indecent exposure, and assaulting a police officer. 

Shortly before the judge made his decision, Kaczynski spoke to the Del Riccos and the courtroom saying quote, "I'm sorry, but sorry is not good enough. But I pray, too. I pray things will get better."

"We've always known going into this that you can't make Ava whole," says Ogelsby. "You can't make the Del Ricco's whole. So regardless of the sentence that's imposed, it's simply an end of the chapter for them.  And they can focus now looking forward and not looking back."

WMDT spoke with Kaczynski's defense attorney who says they have no plans to appeal the verdict.

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