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Posted Thursday, August 13, 2009

Elderly driver pleads guilty in heroic crossing guard's death
                                     
By Laurel J. Sweet,
Boston Herald Staff Writer
                                    
An 87-year-old stroke survivor pleaded guilty this afternoon to mowing down an on-duty Boston crossing guard last fall as she was helping children get to school.

Anis Cazeau of Dorchester was sentenced to three years probation by Suffolk Superior Court Judge John C. Cratsley for hitting Marie Conley, 58, in a crosswalk outside the Mather Elementary School on Oct. 21 as she selflessly saved the life of a 10-year-old boy.

Conley, a grandmother and the sister of Boston Deputy Fire Chief Joseph Finn, died soon afterward from her injuries. At the time, her son Christopher Conley, a Marine Corps lance corporal, had just been deployed to Iraq.

Still pending is a $5 million wrongful death suit Conley's family hit Cazeau with in February. No trial date has been set.

Cazeau's 23-year history of driving infractions had included five crashes and failing to yield to a pedestrian.

Two years of his probation will be supervised and he agreed to not seek reinstatement of his license while on probation.

f I could get her back I would, Cazeau said today in court as members of Conley's family looked on and cried.

Conley's son, Jim, said after the family agreed is was pointlessŁ to lock the elderly man up.

If it was my grandmother driving, I wouldn't want to send her to jail, the son told the Herald.

lsweet@bostonherald.com

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