Man gets probation for running down crossing guard

Anis Cazeau, 87, of Mattapan, was sentenced today to three years' probation after he pleaded guilty to motor-vehicle homicide for the death of Marie Conley on Oct. 21, 2008 - and after Conley's family asked that he not be sent to jail, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office announced.

"Our family is not seeking vengeance or retribution from Mr. Cazeau," Conley's brother, Joe Finn told Judge John Cratsley. "This was an accident and we forgive him. We ask the court to show him leniency and that he serve no prison time. We would be satisfied if his driver's license was permanently revoked. Your honor, I'm sure this is what Marie would want."

"We do believe this tragic accident could have been avoided," he added. "We believe there is a need to change the law in Massachusetts so that people are re-tested at some point to make sure they are fit to operate a motor vehicle. For those who think this is unreasonable, I would venture to say they have never experienced the pain and suffering that occurs when a tragedy like this happens."

Conley was escorting a 10-year-old Mather School student across Winter Street when she spotted Cazeau's car coming at them. She yelled at the boy to stop - which saved his life - but she was hit, at 27 m.p.h. She died eight days later from head injuries.

As part of his sentence, Cazeau is not allowed to drive.