Sweet Tomatoes crash: Driver convicted in deaths of two patrons

NEWTON, Mass. — It’s been a long road to get to this point, but the driver involved in a deadly crash inside a Newton pizza shop has been found guilty of two counts of negligent motor vehicle homicide.

Brad Casler was driving the car that careened into the front windows of a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant in Newton, killing two people and injuring several others.

The prosecution and the defense couldn't agree on an appropriate sentence for a plea deal, so Casler’s attorney has elected to take it to trial.

Witnesses testified that Casler told emergency responders just after the crash that he was fine and his multiple sclerosis played no role in what happened.

"He made a terrible decision, and now he’s going to pay the price for that," Tom Desmond, one victim's brother said.

>> Troopers: No evidence driver in deadly Sweet Tomatoes crash hit the brakes

For more than a year, attorney Tom Giblin tried to negotiate a deal that would have kept his client out of prison. But Giblin said prosecutors were unwilling to take jail time off the table.

"We tried, but he's not doing jail time because first of all, physically and mentally he cannot. And secondly, I just personally don't think this case should be considering jail time,” Giblin said.

Investigators said Brad Casler was speeding in March 2016, when he plowed into the front of a sweet tomatoes restaurant. Gregory Morin and Eleanor Miele were killed.

"There's no closure, I mean, it will never be closed for us and it's time for us to move past this one part of this," said Gregory Morin's widow, Erica Morin.

Morin's mother had similar sentiments as his widow.

"It’s over," Betsy Hamlin-Morin, Gregory Morin's mother, said. "It’s like been having someone pick at a wound for two and a half, two and three-quarter years."

>> 'Things happen. Accidents occur': Defense argues in Sweet Tomatoes trial

Prosecutors charged Casler with two counts of motor vehicle homicide. Giblin says his client suffers from multiple sclerosis, and a medical emergency caused him to lose control.

"It will be shown very quickly and the commonwealth knows it. Everybody is on notice that he has multiple sclerosis. You look at him, you can see that. But his health issues are going to be the crux of the case," Giblin said.

We tried to speak with District Attorney Marian Ryan about the decision to try the case, but she was unable to go into specifics.

“That case is still pending and unfortunately the rules prohibit us from having a discussion,” Ryan explained.

Giblin said earlier this month Casler still feels awful about the crash.

"He still doesn't sleep because of this. I know that that may be of no solace to the victim's families and certainly we feel horrible about it, but it's an accident,” Giblin said.

The judge revoked Casler's bail, sending him to jail where he will remain until sentencing in November.

MORE: Sweet Tomatoes crash: Casler too sick for prison, attorney testifies