BEL AIR, MD., AUG. 26 -- A North Carolina trucker convicted of manslaughter and drunk driving in the deaths of two Maryland state police troopers earlier this year was sentenced today to six years in prison.

Harford County Circuit Judge William Carr sentenced Carl Cates to 11 years in prison for the March 10 accident near Havre de Grace but suspended five years.

"You seem totally indifferent that you are the one responsible for it," Carr told Cates. "What I was looking for was some acknowledgment of responsibility.

"As far as I can see, you still don't care. You killed two people as surely as if you pointed a gun at their heads. I was troubled not so much by your sorrow, but by your not admitting responsibility for it."

Cates, 35, of High Point, N.C., had told Carr in a low voice: "I am sorry for what happened. I have to live with this for the rest of my life."

Cates was convicted July 14 of two counts of manslaughter by motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and driving without a valid medical certificate, among other charges.

His rig slid off I-95 about 4:20 a.m. and struck a state police cruiser that was parked in the median strip. Troopers John Sawa, 40, and Larry Small, 21, were killed in the fiery wreck.

Cates, who will spend his prison time at the Harford County Detention Center, has been fined $1,500 for violating federal trucking standards, including not having proper logs.

Lester Jones, Cates' lawyer, said he will appeal the sentence. "I feel the fact it was two troopers was a part of it {the sentence}," he said.