CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. (AP) — A drunken driver who was texting when he struck and killed two teenage cousins in New Jersey called himself a monster when he was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison.
Joshua Malmgren, 33, of Lower Township, received a nine-year sentence for each victim, The Press of Atlantic City reports (http://bit.ly/1wG9tyY). He pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter in September.
"I am a monster. I am so lost," Malmgren said after expressing his remorse.
Prosecutors say 15-year-old Nioami Lazicki-Gaston, of Middle Township, and 13-year-old Ashley Dauber, of Philadelphia, were walking to get ice cream in July 2012 when Malmgren hit them with his SUV.
Nioami's 14-year-old sister just missed being struck.
Prosecutors said that Malmgren drove to a liquor store to buy beer and Sambuca three times that day. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.18, or more than twice the state's legal limit.
Two of Malmgren's friends noticed he was intoxicated that night and offered him a ride home, but he refused.
The sentencing hearing began with a video slideshow that showed family photos of the victims, accompanied by music from performers including Eric Clapton and Guns n' Roses.
Nioami's sister, Farrahanne Gaston, told Malmgren that she forgives him.
"I forgive you not because you deserve it," she said, "but because I deserve peace."