ABC ex-reporter convicted in Mass. traffic deathAP , Associated Press
Sep. 20, 2013 12:37 PM ET
BOSTON (AP) — A Boston University journalism professor and former ABC News correspondent has been sentenced to three years of probation for vehicular homicide in Massachusetts.
Robert Zelnick, 73, was convicted this week in Plymouth of misdemeanor vehicular homicide and a civil infraction of failing to yield. The judge also ordered him not to drive and to write an apology letter to the victim's family.
Zelnick, who lives in Brookline, was leaving Plymouth's Pinehills Golf Club in October 2011 when he turned his SUV into the path of a motorcycle operated by Brendan Kennedy, 26, of Plymouth, authorities said. Kennedy could not stop in time and died of injuries sustained in the crash.
Kennedy was heading to his job at the club's restaurant, where Zelnick had just dined after a round of golf, authorities said.
The two men knew each other, Zelnick's lawyer, Raffi Yessayan, told The Boston Globe (http://bo.st/1bvkfgL ).
"The whole thing was just tragic," Yessayan said. "For Mr. Zelnick and his family, it's really destroyed them, but it's nothing in comparison to what happened to the Kennedy family. The Zelnick family's hearts go out to the Kennedy family."
Zelnick has not driven since the accident, the attorney said.
Zelnick was not speeding or under the influence, but he shouldn't have been driving given his medical condition, Yessayan said. He declined to say what the condition is, although Zelnick has previously said he has Parkinson's disease.
Zelnick spent 21 years with ABC News covering national politics, the Pentagon, the end of the Cold War and the first Persian Gulf War, according to his biography on Boston University's website. He previously worked for National Public Radio and the Christian Science Monitor.
He is not currently teaching, a Boston University spokesman said.
Information from: The Boston Globe, http://www.bostonglobe.com