Jim Leyritz Publicly Denies Responsibility For Drunk Driving Accident | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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Jim Leyritz Publicly Denies Responsibility For Drunk Driving Accident

ESPN's Jeremy Schaap (the best sports journalist in television for our money) put together a fantastic package on the former Yankees catcher and one-time World Series hero that included Leyritz's first televised remarks about the drunk driving accident that killed a Fort Lauderdale woman two days after Christmas 2007.

Three hours after the crash, Leyritz's blood-alcohol level was .14, nearly twice the legal limit. Fredia Veitch, the mother who died on the scene, had a .18 at the time of the wreck. Though he is charged with DUI Manslaughter, Leyritz put the blame on Veitch.

Leyritz is reportedly broke now, and has been excommunicated from the Yankee family. He's also been arrested at least three times since the accident, once for a domestic dispute with his ex-wife (police say her story is inconsistant) and twice for blowing a positive alcohol level in the breathalyzer installed in his car (one time it reportedly malfunctioned).

The night of the crash, Leyritz had been drinking at Blue Martini and Automatic Slims. He says he was obeying all laws though, and that when the evidence surfaces, he'll be completely exonerated. "The fact that I had my seatbelt on is the reason I'm here," Leyritz told ESPN. "The fact that she didn't is the reason she's not."

He is facing up to 15 years in prison if he's convicted next month. He spoke against the wishes of his lawyers.

Leyritz summed up his feelings on the whole thing this way: "It's not my fault."

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Michael J. Mooney

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