After quarantining for two weeks in her local jail, Melrose Place actress Amy Locane was transferred Monday to the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in New Jersey, where she will complete at least a four-year sentence before becoming eligible for parole. Locane had already wrapped a two-and-a-half-year sentence five years ago for killing Helene Seeman, 60, in a 2010 drunk driving collision in New Jersey's Montgomery Township. But State Superior Court Judge Angela Borkowski gave Locane more time after the punishment for her original conviction (second-degree vehicular homicide and assault by an auto) was deemed too lenient.
Despite her attorney/boyfriend Jim Wronko arguing that a new sentence would violate Locane's double jeopardy protections, the actress and mother of two — who has been sober since the 2010 crash — is now back behind bars. "People ask me, 'Explain this. It doesn't make any sense.' And my answer is I can't explain because I don't think it makes any sense, either," Wronko tells EW.
Wronko will appeal Locane's latest conviction to the New Jersey Supreme Court. Though Locane took responsibility for Seeman's death and has been sober ever since, he continues to remind the courts that the victim's husband, Fred, made a left turn into Locane's lane before the fatal collision occurred. Seeman died near the driveway of her home while Locane was found to have a blood alcohol level of .26 — more than three times the legal limit.
"The judge obviously tailors everything in her own perspective. She says Amy doesn't take responsibility and that just tells me she didn't read anything I gave her," Wronko tells EW. "Amy takes responsibility. She should not have consumed alcohol and then drive. She was involved in the accident. But that doesn't mean you would ignore the fact that at the moment of impact, she was in her lane, and this guy cut her off. He was almost literally stopped in her lane. You don't ignore that. That doesn't mean that she's not taking responsibility. Ultimately, we just have to hope the Supreme Court takes it. We fight on."
In the meantime, Locane agreed to talk with EW about returning to prison and how she fears her two daughters will forget her.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY I understand your first two weeks in jail were spent alone in quarantine in an 8-by-10-foot cell. Your outdoor access was limited to 10 minutes a day. What went through your mind when you were sitting there?
AMY LOCANE: I'm thinking about how my children are going through this pandemic and having to do remote learning. They do alternate days and I'm just thinking about which day they're on and which day they are off. What could possibly be going on in their minds? The first week was really, really hard because we only had two phone calls. It was just very difficult to get in touch with them. It was very hard to process all of this from inside.
Your original sentence was stuck in appeals for five years. How were you feeling about your chances of avoiding more prison time?
I feel like I have to, legally, watch every little thing I say because I don't really understand a lot of this. It's very confusing. There's one thing after another. I have overcome everything. It just seems more and more unrealistic. I wasn't expecting to have to come in for as long as I ended up having to be here.
Does everything feel like it previously did when you were behind bars?
I definitely know what's going on. When I came in last time, I didn't have a clue. I didn't really know how things worked and how you can ask certain officers for things. Prison prepared me for my second go-around. But then there are moments when I'm just staring at the wall thinking, "Oh my God." It's kind of surreal.
When is the soonest you think you'll be able to see your girls again?
Because I [was] in quarantine, I obviously haven't had any visits. Once in prison, you literally go dark for a month. You can make phone calls and stuff, but if I remember they only allow like an hour for everyone to make phone calls. So chances are, you're not going to get on the phone. It's not good.
Did you prepare the girls for the possibility that you would return to prison?
Yeah. They didn't understand it. One was like, "Why are they pushing you so hard?" I don't know. I'm not minimizing what happened in 2010. It was serious and devastating.
Is there any comfort you can take knowing that there is a lot of interest in your situation worldwide? Your attorney was telling me he heard from a German TV outlet the other day.
I try to stay positive, but there is the fear that people will forget. I have a huge fear right now that my kids are gonna forget me. I won't be home until my oldest is 18 and my youngest is 16. I can't even fathom that. I cannot even think about that. I guess it is comforting [that people are interested]. People are feeling this way now, but when it's no longer a story, I'll just be forgotten.
Had you served time at Edna Mahan before?
Yeah. And some of the girls I knew are still there, so there's a little bit of comfort in that. It's funny… some of the officers [at the jail] just look at me and they're like, "Huh." They remember me from before. I just hope that common sense prevails. I don't understand a lot of this. It's kind of corny, but my youngest daughter's middle name is Hope. I'm just clinging to hope right now. God has a plan, so I'll just try to hang in there, you know? I kinda keep thinking of that and Hope.
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