NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A man accused of causing a crash that killed a father and daughter last summer, has changed his plea from not guilty to guilty. At Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton Tuesday morning, James W. Ainsworth admitted to two counts of manslaughter and two counts of motor vehicle homicide in connection with the August 28, 2014 crash that killed Edward and Brittany McGrath.
Prosecutors say that Ainsworth passed out while driving his SUV under the influence of heroin at the time of the accident.
According to Mary Carey, spokesperson for the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, the McGraths were on a motorcycle headed northbound on Route 5 in Easthampton, when Ainsworth’s SUV (which had been traveling southbound) went over the center line, hitting the father and daughter.
First Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven Gagne is asking for a sentence of 15-20 years in prison for Ainsworth, followed by 10 years of probation. Members of the McGrath family, and Brittany McGrath’s fiancee gave statements to the court, asking for the strictest sentence possible for Ainsworth, who they described as unrepentant.
Judge Bertha Josephson scheduled sentencing for August 13.