According to the L.A. Times, Roger Avary, who, with Quentin Tarantino, wrote the black comedy Pulp Fiction, was sentenced yesterday to one year in jail by a Ventura County judge for a drunken car-crash accident that killed a passenger and seriously injured Avary's wife. Additionally, Avary, who also wrote screenplays for Beowulf and Killing Zoe, received five years of probation. The accident happened in January, 2008, when Avary, driving from an Ojai restaurant to his nearby home at speeds exceeding 100 mph, hit a telephone pole. The Ventura County Sheriff's Dept. alleged his blood-alcohol level was higher than legally permitted. Avary initially fought the charges but changed his plea to guilty last month.
The Ventura County Star reported that the Ventura County District Attorney's office had sought a mid-range sentence of six years, eight months for the accident, but that Superior Court Judge Edward Brodie took into account Avary's age, absence of a criminal record and apparent remorse. Brodie also agreed to allow Avary to enter a work-furlough program if he qualifies. The accident was especially tragic because the passenger, Andreas Zini, and his wife Maria were visiting from Italy on their honeymoon. The Times piece also says Avary has settled a $4.1 million civil suit with Zini's family.