Prosecution seeking 'appropriate sentence'

Updated: November 9, 2004, 4:12 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Lawyers for Atlanta Thrashers forward Dany Heatley and the district attorney are discussing a possible plea deal on charges stemming from a car crash that killed his teammate.

"We're in contact almost weekly," said Manny Arora, Heatley's lawyer.

Heatley lost control of his 2002 Ferrari and slammed into a railing last year, killing Dan Snyder.

Heatley was charged with first- and second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless driving, driving too fast for conditions, failure to maintain his lane and speeding. He has pleaded not guilty, but apologized publicly to Snyder's family -- who said they forgive him.

"He's most concerned about their family and what they want," Arora said Tuesday. "He's still heartbroken."

Erik Friedly, a spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, said talks have taken place but that there is no deal in the works and that Heatley isn't getting any special treatment.

"We are always amenable to any defendant in any case entering a guilty plea, as long as there is an appropriate sentence that goes along with it," Friedly said.

During the NHL lockout, Heatley is playing in Bern, Switzerland. He was hit in the eye with a puck last Saturday and sustained serious bruising and internal bleeding. Arora said it would take Heatley several weeks to recover. It's not clear whether Heatley will return to Atlanta for a court date later this month.

If no plea agreement is reached, trial could begin in January.

"If we can get a reasonable offer, we'll take it," Arora said. "But if they don't give us anything that's fair, we're willing to go forward with a trial."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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