Groton man sentenced for DWI crash that killed a Cornell Professor

Regional News

GROTON, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Jeffrey Skinner was sentenced to 4-12 years in prison for first-degree vehicular manslaughter in the death of a Cornell professor.

Skinner, 45, of Groton, will also serve 1-3 years for two counts of driving while intoxicated, and 2-4 years for leaving the scene of a personal injury incident without reporting. 

Back on May 3, 2020, Skinner was driving drunk when he struck and killed Cornell Professor Jerrie Gavalchin, a 64-year-old Groton-native, while Gavalchin was walking her bicycle along Lick Street. Skinner admitted to leaving the scene of the accident without calling 911. 

“It is my hope that the sentence imposed in this case will serve as a deterrent and an example of the devastating consequences of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated,” said Tompkins County District Attorney Matthew Van Houten. “Nothing the criminal justice system can do will ever provide true justice or closure to the victim’s family, but I believe that the Court’s sentence today is a fair and appropriate outcome under the parameters of New York State law.” 

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