CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Wickliffe man will spend nearly a decade behind bars for causing a fatal accident on Christmas Day.
Thomas Totarella sobbed as he was sentenced to serve nine years in prison late Tuesday morning.
Totarella led Euclid and Willowick police on a chase, failing to stop while exiting the freeway at East 185th Street in Cleveland. At the intersection of East 185th & Villaview, Totarella struck a utility pole ejecting his passenger and ex-wife, Donna Scafe, from the vehicle. The 45-year-old died on the scene.
Totarella gave a bevy of excuses in the courtroom only to be put in his place by sharp-tongued Judge Michael J. Russo.
You have some personal issues some mental health issues but they're not as severe as you portray them," Russo said. "A lot of times you're just feeling sorry for yourself."
Totarella had been released from prison on December 1st, 2008 - just weeks before the fatal accident.