Former Greenfield Police sergeant sentenced to 2 years for 2017 vehicular homicide

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A former Greenfield Police sergeant was found guilty of motor vehicle homicide and sentenced to two years in jail for a crash that killed a New Hampshire man in 2017. 

The Northwestern District Attorney’s Office in a news release on Monday said a jury found 50-year-old James B. Rode guilty of vehicular homicide by negligent operation, killing 29-year-old James Arcellana.  

Rode will spend two years in the House of Corrections, nine months of which he must serve, with the balance of the sentence suspended for two years.  

Driver involved in crash with Greenfield police cruiser has died

The DA’s Office added that his conviction also carries a mandatory 15-year loss of license. 

On the night of October 1, 2017, Rode was on his way to an erratic operator call when his department-issued cruiser crashed at the intersection of High and Sanderson streets in Greenfield. Arcellana was the driver of the other vehicle, he died three days later from injuries he suffered in the crash. 

Trial for Greenfield Police sergeant charged with negligent motor vehicle homicide to begin soon

State Police investigators determined that Rode was driving 84-mph in a 30-mph zone when he crashed. Witnesses also told police Rode’s cruiser’s siren was not activated. 

Greenfield Mayor then William Martin fired Rode from the Greenfield Police Department. Rode has since appealed his termination to the State Civil Service Commission. 

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