Amy Locane, the American actress best known for the role in the television series 'Melrose Place', has been charged with aggravated manslaughter following a car accident in which a New Jersey woman died instantly, reports the New York Post. The charges, handed down yesterday (16th December 2010) by a grand jury in Somerset County, also included assault by auto.
It has been reported that Locane could face ten to thirty years in prison for the manslaughter charge, as well as a further five to ten years for assault by auto. The actress' lawyer BLAIR ZWILLMAN said yesterday, "I didn't think there was any basis in law or fact for the aggravated manslaughter charge", before adding, "The district attorney's office is overreaching. We're not surprised by the vehicular homicide charge . . . but they're ratcheting it up by including a charge she wasn't initially charged with . . . in which one of the elements is 'reckless indifference to human life' . . . which, to me, is utterly ridiculous". Locane, who also appeared alongside James Spader in the 2002 movie 'Secretary', drove into the passenger side of another car on 27 June 2010 in Princeton, instantly killing 60-year-old Helene Seeman, a recognised art historian.
After the accident, Locane had told authorities that she had drank several glasses of wine before getting behind the wheel of her Chevy Tahoe.