“Aaron was the son every mother dreamed of,” Lynn Cohen told the judge. “When Aaron was killed, it felt like I was killed.”
That day, he and Walsh rode to the causeway just before 6 a.m. — after a brief detour, at Cohen’s behest, to check on a friend whose bicycle had broken down. As the two peddled, Walsh recalled, Cohen began talking about his family when Traverso plowed into him.
“His last thought was of those children and because what happened that morning, those children will grow up without a father,” Walsh said.
On Wednesday, Traverso looked Cohen’s widow, Patricia, in the eyes and spoke.
“I know what I have done is unspeakable,” he said. “I know what I took from you is irreplaceable. I am responsible for killing your husband, the father of your two children.”
But Traverso insisted he was not drunk, but had merely nodded off as he drove home after an exhausting day and night. He also admitted to a therapist that he had drank a “few beers” but had slept it off during a nap in his car before the accident.
Much of Wednesday’s defense arguments revolved around Traverso’s genetic immunological disorder that leaves him prone to infection. His longtime pediatrician testified, as did a corrections consultant who said Traverso’s medial condition could go untreated amid the bureaucracy of the prison system.
De la Cabada, his lawyer, pressed the judge to keep him local.
“I have a real concern this man could die in prison,” he said, adding: “This young man panicked and he did a cowardly thing that he will have to live with for the rest of his life.”