By Tony Hanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The tugboat pilot, who accepted blame in a fatal Duck Boat crash that killed two Hungarian students, is scheduled to be sentenced today in federal court.
Recommended federal sentencing guidelines call for a prison term of about 3-4 years, but the defense is seeking leniency.

Defendant Matthew Devlin pleaded guilty back in August (see related story) to a single count of misconduct of a ship operator causing death.

But the defense is arguing for probation, or house arrest, contending the accident resulted from a perfect storm of circumstances.

Defense attorney Frank DeSimone argues Devlin was in a state of shock, on the phone and internet prior to the crash, after learning there had been a serious problem during a supposedly routine surgery for his son (see related story). The child survived and has recovered.

The government concedes defense arguments for a below guideline sentence may have merit, but also argues the court should impose a significant period of incarceration for the crime, and to deter others from distracted operations.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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