Aftermath of a Death on the Highway

Aftermath of a Death on the Highway

By Frances J. Bender

AS a patrol officer in his hometown of Fairfield for close to 20 years, Richard Nolfi was accustomed to stopping errant drivers, often checking for the presence of drugs or alcohol.

As a father, Mr. Nolfi has spent the last seven months railing against a criminal justice system he says didn’t play by the rules, one that he feels almost let the driver whose truck killed his son Richard, 17, go free.

Since his son’s death, Mr. Nolfi has channeled his grief into a motivated pursuit to learn all the facts of the case, and to see Jeffrey Bettencourt atone for the deaths of Richard and a young friend.

“I want this man to pay for his crime,” said Mr. Nolfi, during a recent interview at his Fairfield home. “Each boy had another 60 years to live. I want him to serve 120 years on his sentence.”

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The New York Times