SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — A former "Melrose Place" actress charged in a fatal auto accident two years ago was being chased by another driver, her attorney told jurors on the first day of her manslaughter trial Thursday.
A prosecutor countered that Amy Locane-Bovenizer was intoxicated at the time and that caused the crash that killed Helene Seeman and injured her husband, Fred.
Locane-Bovenizer, 40, is charged with aggravated manslaughter and assault by auto and faces up to 30 years in prison if she is convicted.
Attorney Blair Zwillman told a Somerville jury that Locane-Bovenizer was pursued for 4 miles by a woman whose car she had rear-ended, The Star-Ledger reported (http://bit.ly/UiLgMB). He said the woman honked her horn and flashed her lights, causing Locane-Bovenizer to drive nearly 20 mph over the speed limit on narrow country roads.
"Why is she pursuing someone with the most horrendous of distractions possible?" Zwillman asked jurors.
The chase ended when the actress slammed into the Seemans' vehicle as it pulled into a driveway.
In his opening statement, Somerset County Assistant Prosecutor Matthew Murphy said Locane-Bovenizer had eight to 10 drinks at two gatherings before the accident and had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit.
"Death was probable, not merely possible," Murphy told jurors. "These circumstances were so extreme that death was probable."
Locane-Bovenizer appeared on 13 episodes of "Melrose Place" in 1992 in the role of Sandy Louise Harling. She also appeared in numerous movies including "Cry-Baby," ''School Ties" and "Secretary."
Information from: The (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger, http://www.nj.com/starledger