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McNeil Sentenced to Prison Time for Forte's Death

Wilmington resident Charles McNeil pleaded guilty on Tuesday on two counts, admitting that he was under the influence of drugs when he struck and killed Kim Forte.

Charles McNeil pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two charges in the death of fellow Wilmington resident Kim Forte, who he struck and killed with his car two years ago.

On Tuesday in Lowell Superior Court, a judge accepted terms of the plea agreement which will result in prison time for McNeil, according to the Middlesex County District Attorney's Office. McNeil will serve two and a half to three years in state prison on the charge of motor vehicle homicide by operating on the influence of drugs and negligence.

In addition, he pleaded guilty to operating under the influence of drugs, second offense. He was sentenced to 2.5 years in the house of corrections for that charge with the balance suspended five years. McNeil will serve 60 days for that count with a conditional probation period added.

Under the conditions of the plea, McNeil cannot drive, will have his license suspended for 15 years, cannot use drugs or alcohol and must undergo drug and alcohol treatment, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Lou Forte was in attendance and as he and other family members gave statements. According to Forte, McNeil apologized to the family for his actions. McNeil admitted during the plea that he was under the influence of drugs when he struck and killed Forte.

“Kim woke up and acted responsibly that morning like she always did. He didn’t act responsibly,” said Forte. “She didn’t wake up and say ‘I’m going to get killed today.’ I don’t think he woke up and said ‘I’m going to kill someone today,’ but he treated his own body irresponsibly. And because of that, we suffered a tremendous loss, a loss that can never be fixed.”

For more reaction to the plea deal, check back with Wilmington Patch on Tuesday.

JT February 13, 2013 at 12:02 AM
I did not know Kim but by all accounts was a wonderful person and the town is lessened by her absence. While the sentence seems rather light to me I hope that her family can find some semblance of closure with this plea. God bless you, Forte family.
JB February 13, 2013 at 12:53 AM
No amount of prison time can make up for Lou, Tim & the Surette family's loss of their beloved Kim. This guy pleads innocent 2 days after committing vehicular homicide and now 2 years later, after all the hearings, time & emotions invested by so many he admits his guilt for fear of a jury imposing a more realistic & just sentence?! What will it take to ensure the penalties for repeat offenders suit the crime?!
Joan Griffin Le Blanc February 13, 2013 at 02:49 PM
I posted a comment but I did something wrong and it didn't go through. So I will write it again. It isn't fair Sharon in so many ways. Your mom is a sweetheart, and I see so much of Kim in her. They have the exact same smile and they look so much like each other. No mother should ever have to bury their child. I feel badly for all of you and think of your family during the day,everyday. You have my sympathy, love and support.
Marion Bradford February 13, 2013 at 11:20 PM
This sorry excuse for a man, murders Kim with his car, and gets off with what amounts to a slap on the wrist, what a horrible miscarriage of justice. No justice for the innocent, but plenty for the guilty....
Lisa Adams February 15, 2013 at 01:57 AM
A lame sentence for such a crime. If this was any other state he would have gotten at least 10-15 years. Forte family we are so sorry for your loss.

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