Texas Firefighter to Spend Six Christmases in Jail

HOUSTON (AP) -- A volunteer firefighter has the holiday blues after a judge ordered him to spend his next six Christmas Days in jail for his role in a deadly wreck.

Samuel Maglitto received the sentence Thursday from State District Judge Marc Carter, who says it's an appropriate one for the death of a mother of five in a collision as Maglitto rushed to a small brush fire.

``I wanted him to feel the same separation that her family is experiencing,'' Carter told the Houston Chronicle in Friday's editions. ``I want him to think about what his decisions have cost his family, as well as hers.''

Maglitto, 52, pleaded guilty in March to criminally negligent homicide in the death of Vickie Lynn McKinney. Maglitto received a sentence of six years' probation, in addition to 30 days in jail. The judge ordered him to return for overnight stays for the next six years on Christmas Day and on McKinney's birthday, Dec. 4.

Meglitto, a member of the Rosehill Volunteer Fire Department, was driving at more than 80 mph with emergency lights on and siren blaring, when his truck struck McKinney's sedan broadside on June 4, 2002, killing the 40-year-old woman.

The judge also barred Meglitto from serving as a volunteer firefighter during his probation.

The victim's husband, Gene, had urged Carter to sentence Maglitto to the maximum term of 10 years' imprisonment.