The Prison Break star pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter after a fatal crash

By Lorenzo Benet
May 21, 2007 11:30 AM

Actor Lane Garrison pleaded guilty Monday to vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and two other alcohol-related charges that could result in a sentence of nearly seven years in prison.

Flanked by two attorneys, the Prison Break star stood in a Beverly Hills courtroom and said, “I am guilty, your honor.”

He faces a maximum sentence of six years and eight months behind bars, but the actual time could be reduced by half with good behavior. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 2 by Superior Court Judge Eldon Fox.

Along with his manslaughter plea, Garrison also admitted that he provided alcohol to minors and that he registered a blood alcohol level of over .15 the night of the crash that killed one teenager and injured two others.

“What’s unusual in this society is he is admitting full responsibility – that’s a breath of fresh air,” his attorney, Harland Braun, told PEOPLE.

After the hearing, Garrison made a beeline for the elevator with his attorneys. As he stood there, looking somber and waiting for the elevator to arrive, family members of the victims filed out of the courtroom. They huddled near the door and hugged one another. Several of them had tears in their eyes as they glared at Garrison.

The actor, who played Tweener on the FOX jailhouse drama, was driving his Land Rover SUV in Beverly Hills with three teenage passengers on Dec. 2 when the vehicle struck a tree at 11:52 p.m.

One passenger, Vahagn Setian, 17, was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. A 15-year-old girl, also in the car, suffered a fractured pelvis and shattered arm. A second girl, also 15, was not seriously injured.

Paul Kiesel, a lawyer for the victims’ families, tells PEOPLE: “The Setian family supports the District Attorneys’ request for a state prison term when Mr. Garrison is sentenced on August 2, 2007.”

After the accident police also said that Garrison had cocaine in his system and more than twice the legal blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash.

Garrison is also being represented by Richard Hutton, who is Paris Hilton’s lawyer.