Ex-Pittsburgh police officer gets work release in off-duty fatal

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PITTSBURGH - A since-fired Pittsburgh police officer will spend one to two years on work release from a halfway house, following by six months' house arrest, for an off-duty motorcycle crash that killed his fiancée’s friend.

Adam Lewis, 31, apologized to the family of Jessica Lojak, who was 28 when she was killed about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 26, 2010.

Lewis was sentenced Monday by an Allegheny County judge who previously convicted him of involuntary manslaughter but acquitted Lewis of homicide by vehicle while driving drunk. The verdict means the judge held Lewis responsible for the woman's death, but didn't believe Lewis' intoxication led directly to it.

Lojak was attending a bachelorette party before she was killed while Lewis was giving her a ride home.

His blood-alcohol content was 0.11 percent, exceeding the state's 0.08 percent limit for drivers.

Channel 11’s Jennifer Tomazic reported Lewis apologized to Lojak’s family on Monday while he was being sentenced.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think of how the future was cut short for her,” Lewis said.

Lojak’s brother, Eddie, was one of several people to testify.

“I knew he was sorry the whole time. It was more of the fact. I know for me, my mom, my dad and my brother, it would have been so much more relieving to hear that three years ago,” Eddie Lojak said.

Lewis’ attorney, Bill Diffenderfer, presented 45 letters to the judge that he said spoke of Lewis’ good character.

“I think it cuts both ways for the victim and for my client,” Diffenderfer said.

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