Amy Locane once starred alongside Heather Locklear and Daphne Zuniga on one of the most popular shows on television, Melrose Place. But Locane’s life took a tragic turn a decade after the series ended when she was involved in a deadly car crash that resulted in the actress — who was drunk at the time of the fatal accident — spending time behind bars. And while she already served her time, Locane has been caught up in a case that’s seen her sentenced four times for the same crime.
The sad circumstances began in March 2010 when Locane — who also appeared in movies like 1990’s Cry-Baby and 1994’s Airheads —was responsible for the “crash… that killed Helene Seeman and seriously injured her husband, Fred, as they turned into their driveway in Montgomery Township in central New Jersey,” according to the Associated Press. During her trial, “a state expert testified Locane’s blood alcohol level was likely about three times the legal limit and that she was driving roughly 53 mph (85 kmh) in a 35-mph (56-kmh) zone at the time of the crash,” the AP reported.
While Locane did go to prison in 2013 and served “nearly two and a half years of a three-year sentence on charges of vehicular homicide and assault,” per People, a complicated situation regarding her sentencing means that the actress might end up serving even more time.
Amy Locane may not have served enough time in prison
Despite the fact that Amy Locane already served her sentence for causing the death of a woman due to drunk driving, as well as injuring the victim’s husband, the former actress could be sent back to prison because of a strange twist in her case. It’s worth noting that double jeopardy typically prevents a person from being convicted twice for the same crime.
However, in July 2020, Superior Court Judge Kevin Shanahan gave a new ruling. Per People, Shanahan “employed ‘a methodology all his own’ and ignored the appeals court’s mandate on how aggravating and mitigating factors in the case should be weighed” in order to resentence the former Melrose Place star. He’s the same judge who resentenced Locane the previous year “after her first two convictions from another judge were overturned for being too short under minimum sentencing guidelines,” per People‘s report. Fox News noted the appeals court stated that because this is a “unique case,” the “double jeopardy principles” may “not bar a final proceeding,” which is why “a new sentence” may be “imposed.”
Although there may be grounds for Locane’s resentencing, her team wasn’t about to accept more time behind bars without a fight.
Amy Locane might have to tell her daughters that 'mommy may go back to jail'
Although Amy Locane may be legally required to spend more time in prison, depending on the court’s decision, she’s hoping to stay free for the sake of her two daughters. “Amy has been out of prison for five years. She has been out of parole for two years. I don’t understand why society, or the government, or the court would want to put her back in jail now,” her attorney James Wronko told People in July 2020. “How do you explain to her two daughters that mommy may go back to jail five years after she’s been released? It’s kind of incredible.”
Wronko — who has “filed a motion to have the appellate panel disqualified,” per People — also noted that, in his opinion, the circumstance around Locane’s case is “unprecedented.” He continued, “I’ve never had a client — and I’m not aware of anybody — who has fully, completely finished their sentence and three years later they want to put them in prison. I’m also totally unaware of a situation where a judge sentences somebody in the statutory range and the state is allowed to appeal.”
As for Locane herself, she is reportedly “terrified” of more time in prison.
Amy Locane wants to 'help people not make the same mistake'
Former Melrose Place actress Amy Locane may have gone to prison in 2013 and gotten released two years later, but her case didn’t stay dormant for long. People explained that in 2017, “Superior Court Judge Robert B. Reed refused to change his previous sentence… despite an appeals court’s concerns that it was too lenient.” Locane admitted to NJ.com at the time that she was “absolutely terrified” of going back to prison.
“I had worked so hard since 2010 on my sobriety, on adjusting to life in prison, on being released from prison, on acclimating to my children’s lives, and to parole that having to go back would seriously interrupt, if not destroy, any progress I had made in becoming human again,” she told the outlet. Locane also claimed she wants to “stay sober” while helping people “not make the same mistake” she did. “I want to warn the youth about the dangers of drinking and driving,” she said. “Everybody thinks it’s not going to happen to them, including myself.”
Whatever happens, Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Murphy told the Associated Press (via People), “This is a sad day for the [family of Helene Seeman, the woman who was killed in the crash]. There were no winners declared by the verdict. There are only losers. A husband lost his dear wife; his two children lost their mother; and Helene’s mother lost her daughter. That loss can never be rectified by a verdict.”
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