Bridgeport corrections officer now on other side of the bars

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BRIDGEPORT -- A corrections officer is headed to prison, but not for work.

Patricia Daniels, 48, was convicted of manslaughter in December after causing a crash that killed a woman and injured her son two years ago.

Daniels, who worked at the Bridgeport Corrections Center for 17 years, Friday was sentenced to 16 years in prison. She still maintains she had no involvement in the crash, which killed Evelyn Agyei, 51,  Dec. 4, 2014.

"I feel OK because I feel like justice has been done," said Jonathan Agyei, the victim's husband, after Friday's sentencing hearing, which lasted over an hour.

Evelyn Agyei's husband was among those delivering victim's impact statements during sentencing.

"Evelyn's passing has rendered me emotionally devastated and psychologically unstable," said Mr. Agyei.

When the fatal crash occurred, Evelyn Agyei was on her way to care for a special needs child she had worked with for eight years.

"She bathed him, fed him, dressed him and she loved him," said Gaspar Reyes of Trumbull.

A family friend recalls a gift of hand cream Evelyn Agyei gave to her daughter just prior to the crash.

"When my daughter misses her, she squeezes a small amount into her hands. She rubs it. She smells it and she thinks of her," she said

Despite the defense's contention that she was mentally unstable at the time of the crash, the judge said she knew what she had done, yet, Daniels "persisted in denying her involvement," said Superior Court Judge John Kavanewsky

Daniels was sentenced to 16 years in prison. Kavanewsky granted an appeals bond request made by one of Daniels' lawyers, Norm Pattis. Bond was set at $750,000, which Pattis says he does not expect Daniels to have the ability to post.

Pattis said he fully expects to win an appeal of her conviction based on certain techniques, related to Daniels' mental health, used by the state during cross examination.