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Regan Pleads Guilty in Hit & Run Case, Gets Probation

Left, Krishna Jayaraman, 84, killed in a motor vehicle accident by Kate Regan (right).
Left, Krishna Jayaraman, 84, killed in a motor vehicle accident by Kate Regan (right).

Kate Regan of New Canaan was sentenced to five years' probation after pleading guilty Friday to negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility in connection with the August 2010 death of Krishna Jayaraman, 82, in front of his Oenoke Road home.

The plea deal with Judge Maureen Dennis in state Superior Court in Norwalk came despite objections from a prosecutor, who said Regan should get some jail time.

But the deal was supported by  Krishna family (past reports have referred to the family as the "Jayaraman" family, but it was referred to as the "Krishna family" throughout the court hearing).

Krishna Jayaraman's son, also named Krishna Jayaraman, said at the hearing that the family didn't want Regan's children to suffer from her absence.

"We have grieved over this for the last three years," Krishna told the judge. "It's been rather painful for me, this loss of my father. It's been misery for my mother, but my children have suffered as well.

"Nevertheless, we feel that asking for revenge is not the right solution," he continued. "I just don't want those kids [Regan's children] to suffer for the mistakes she made. I would like the court to punish her for leaving my grandfather to die. I don't think jail would be a solution for her children."

Regan, who blinked frequently during the mid-afternoon hearing in state Superior Court in Norwalk, also spoke:

"Dr. Krishna, I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. I waited and waited a very long time to reach out to you to express my deepest sympathy and regret for your very tragic loss. [...] It's crucially important to me that you know not a day goes by that I don't think of your father. I live with this every single day and will for the rest of my life."

Regan said she understands that his family is grieving deeply and added, "I hope to speak with you again privately to express those feelings in depth and I wish the best for you and your family."

Jayaraman responded, "I look forward to it." At the end of the hearing, the two shook hands. Afterward, Jayarama said in the hallway of the courthouse that his family feels forgiveness for Regan.

Asked what was going through his mind to hear Regan's apology, he said, "I'm just overwhelmed right now -- I can't say. I'm filled with emotion."

Nicole Peco, the state prosecutor in the case, told the judge that the state disagreed with not having jail time for Regan included in the sentence. The matter is a serious issue and a safety issue, she said.

'The state looks at the factual allegatiosn: The fact that the defendant left the scene and engaged in a series of lies, contacted multiple insurance companies," without contacting police, Peco said.

Peco said the prosecution recommendation was that Regan get a 10-year sentence, suspended after one year in prison, with five years' probation.

Judge Dennis said that Krishna had asked to meet with her in her chambers before the sentencing, and that they had done so. "It's an unusual circumstance," Dennis said. "I normally don't get the chance to do that. A very important component of what I do is based on victim input. [...] I usually get it second- or third-hand.

"I was impressed by what Dr. Krishna said and the reasons he said it. [...] It's quite a remarkable position, and but for that position, the sentencing here today would be very different."

"I'm hoping the sentence today will achieve a fair and equitable result, and, indeed, honor Dr. Krishna's father."

For evading responsibility involving a death with a motor vehicle, Regan was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended, and five years of probation. For negligent homicide, the judge sentenced her to six moths in prison, suspended, and a one-year probation period. Both sentences would run concurrently.

Regan is to perform 300 hours of community service, Dennis said, "to be done in some fashion or locations involving work with senior citizens, particularly senior citizens who have suffered the loss of a partner or a loved one."

Regan must also attend a program dealing with families victimized by vehicular homicide. Regan's car, seized at about the time she was arrested, is to be returned to her.

Jayaraman's lawyer, Frederic Ury, as well as Regan's attorneys -- James Ruane for the criminal case and John Whitcomb, representing her in a civil lawsuit for $2.5 million in damages that Jayarama's family filed against her -- were all at the court hearing. No mention of the civil lawsuit was made in the courtroom, and Ruane and Whitcomb refused to discuss the case with a reporter.

The accident

On the afternoon of on Aug 18, 2010, a car traveling northbound on Oenoke Ridge Road struck a pedestrian, propelling the person 20 to 30 feet, according to Selectman Rob Mallozzi, who helps manage the emergency operations center in New Canaan.

The driver left nothing behind aside from a side-view mirror and other fragments of glass, New Canaan police said.

Police received a call at 4:41 p.m. from a driver on Oenoke Ridge Road who spotted the victim laying in the road. Less than two hours later, after a passerby noticed him and called for an ambulance, Krishna Jayaraman was dead in Norwalk Hospital.

Criminal charges, civil lawsuit filed

On Nov. 3, 2010, New Canaan Police arrested Regan on a warrant, charging her with negligent homicide with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility involving a death with a motor vehicle. Regan was released after posting a $10,000 cash bond.

In the $2.5 million civil complaint, Regan is accused of driving her Infiniti QX56  at a “fast rate of speed” on Oenoke Ridge Road (Rt. 124) while attempting to change a DVD in her vehicle.

Her action resulted in her veering to the right and striking the elder Jayaraman while he was getting mail from his curbside mailbox, the complaint stated.

The complaint then alleges that Regan, 32 at the time, filed a false report with her car insurance company, claiming her passenger-side mirror was damaged while her car was parked at a location in New Canaan while she was running errands. It says she gave the same story to a New Canaan Police sergeant investigating the accident.

hal November 15, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Jacqueline, you should chill out or else you are going to give yourself a HEART ATTACK. It is great to hear from a person who has never made a mistake in her whole life... never talked on a phone while driving, never went over the speed limit, never looked at the radio in your car, on and on. You are truely a perfect person... or maybe one who is lucky enough not to have a tragedy happen when doing so. Don't you and the rest of the fine New Canaan citizens have a little charity. And by the way, no-one ever said it was murder.
Jacqueline Schultz Benson November 17, 2013 at 08:45 PM
I'm not going to give myself a heart attack. The emphasis was placed on those words because some of you seem to think that she deserves a pass or that there is some kind of crazy conspiracy going on. If I thought I simply hit a mailbox, I would stop anyhow. Why?? Because that *is* property damage. Don't know about you, HAL, but I'd be pretty irked if someone knocked down my mailbox and ran away. She acted shifty and skeezy and suspicious, so you know what the logical conclusion is?? She did it. And she is getting off lightly because she spread her legs and popped a couple of rugrats out. Maybe I should have a kid or two and then off someone... I can claim that I was a "Mombie Zombie" and simply was not in my right mind. And I'll use this case example as a basis for my defense. ::eyeroll:: Let me get a sugar daddy first, though... that way I can rest assured that someone can afford to keep me free while my victim's dead body molders in a grave. Keepin' it klassy!!
Billy Gumdrop November 18, 2013 at 12:34 AM
There is no doubt in my mind that this was an unfortunate, unintentional and tragic accident. I would never think that Ms. Regan intentionally hit Mr. Krishna, that's crazy talk. But I do think that Hal is either a relative of the Regans or a friend of their family. If she had stopped and cooperated with the cops, this would have never turned out to be such a legal mess that it is. Just my humble opinion......
Brent November 18, 2013 at 08:10 AM
This article is over two weeks old. Everyone is moving on. You people need to find a hobby. I wish I could remove my email this is pure spam at this point. If you want to bicker with each other exchange phone numbers and hash it out.
Billy Gumdrop November 18, 2013 at 10:35 AM
Brent: Hit the delete button on your keyboard. It's great way to get rid of email that you don't want to read. I do it daily to keep my mailbox empty or close to it. We all appreciate your fatherly advice!

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