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Maxim Staviski to do Prison Time

Maxim Staviski has been sentenced to two years in prison. The two-time World ice dance champion originally was given a 2.5-year suspended sentence for his role in a fatal motor vehicle accident, but the appellate court in the southeast city of Burgas reversed the decision today, according to the Sofia new agency, novinite.com.

The suspended sentence came down in January 2008 for driving drunk and causing the Aug. 5, 2007 car crash, which left 24-year-old Petar Petrov dead and 18-year-old Manuela Gorsova comatose.

Staviski's blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 1.24. Staviski was driving a Hummer, a gift from a Sofia automobile dealer, when the crash occurred in Bulgaria on the road that connects the Black Sea towns of Sozopol and Tsarevo. He was speeding when he veered into traffic in the other lane, causing the accident.

In December, the case against Staviski was referred to the Burgas Appellate Court by the parents of the car crash victims.

"With its Monday's ruling the three-member panel of the Burgas Appellate Court has not changed the duration of Staviski's sentence but only the way of serving it, which means that the figure skating champion would have to stay in prison for 2.5 years," according to novinite.com.

The Burgas Appellate Court also increased the amount of money that Staviski had to pay to the crash victims' parents -- BGN 120,000 to Petrov's parents (up from BGN 90,000), and BGN 150,000 to Gorsova's family (up from BGN 80,000).

The sentence has been signed "with reservations" by the chair of the judges' panel, Georgi Koshicharov, who is expected to explain the motives for his reservations later today.

Staviski's lawyers plan to appeal.