A State Supreme Court judge on Wednesday sentenced a scooter driver to as much as three years in prison for fatally hitting an actress, Lisa Banes, after the man tried to avoid blame for the accident following an earlier admission of guilt.
Brian Boyd, 27, attempted to claim in court — contrary to his September guilty pleas for manslaughter and leaving the scene of an accident — that he had not acted recklessly in June 2021 when he ran a red light and struck Ms. Banes on a West 64th Street crosswalk. Ms. Banes, 65, who appeared in the movie “Gone Girl” as well as dozens of films, television programs and stage shows, died of her injuries 10 days later.
“I did beep my horn,” Mr. Boyd said. “I did slow down.”
Angered, Judge Gregory Carro reminded Mr. Boyd that after finding and leaving Ms. Boyd lying face down and bleeding on the pavement, he immediately drove four miles north to a Harlem shop that repaired his electric scooter while he drank a Heineken beer.
“You know what? I’ll give you your plea back,” Judge Carro said. “You want to go to trial?”
Mr. Boyd said that he did not.
Assistant District Attorney Erin LaFarge said that Mr. Boyd had deserved more prison time. She said Mr. Boyd’s attempt to rescind his plea showed that he refused to acknowledge his recklessness or show remorse. She reminded Judge Carro that a year before fatally striking Ms. Banes, Mr. Boyd crashed a Revel electric moped that he was driving without a license, seriously injuring himself and his girlfriend.
“He has not learned anything from this experience, and that is a terrifying thought,” said Ms. LaFarge.
Ms. Banes studied at New York’s Juilliard School in the 1970s, and had a string of leading Off Broadway roles in the 1980s. She made her Broadway debut in the 1988 Neil Simon comedy “Rumors” and performed in more than 80 television and film productions, including opposite Tom Cruise in the 1988 film “Cocktail” and Ben Affleck in “Gone Girl.”
“Lisa Banes was a beloved friend, family and community member whose life was tragically cut short,” Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, said Wednesday afternoon.
In court, the victim’s wife, Kathryn Kranhold, dressed in a dark suit, read an emotional statement aloud. At the time of the accident, she and Ms. Banes had traveled from their home in Los Angeles to New York City for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic and were commemorating their first date, a walk in Central Park around Memorial Day in 2006. Married at City Hall a few years later, Ms. Kranhold recalled how much her late wife loved apple pie, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kamala Harris.
She recalled finding Ms. Banes bloodied and in a coma at the hospital. “My life stopped at that moment,” she said.
Calling Mr. Boyd “heartless and reckless,” she pleaded with the judge to sentence him to a long prison term for the sake of public safety.
“Lisa saw him coming at her, but she couldn’t move fast enough, nobody could move fast enough,” Ms. Kranhold said.
Mr. Boyd’s lawyer, Angela Kerins, protested to Judge Carro that her client had never been convicted of a felony, and that he was ready to accept his sentence for the sake of his family, members of whom were in the courtroom with tears in their eyes.
“His family is prepared for this. His daughter is prepared for this,” she said.
Judge Carro said that he wanted a sentence that might act as a “general deterrent” to careless drivers.
“This city obviously has a problem with unlicensed scooters,” he said. “This is what happens when you recklessly drive those pretty powerful new motorbikes.”
However, he said he would honor the terms of Mr. Boyd’s plea agreement. He asked if Mr. Boyd had anything to say:
“I’m extremely sorry,” Mr. Boyd said. “I don’t really have the words except ‘I’m sorry.’”