NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The family of a Branford woman who was killed in a car crash objected Monday to the driver’s recent plea bargain agreement, as they said no one notified them beforehand.
Vincent Mauro, 32, of Branford, appeared in Superior Court in New Haven on Monday in a hearing before Judge Maureen Keegan.
Mauro crashed a Mercedes Aug. 18, 2013 in Branford while driving under the influence of alcohol, killing his wife and passenger, Megan McAuliffe, 29. Mauro went off the road and struck a tree on Brushy Plain Road in Branford
But Sharp was charged in May only with driving while intoxicated and was allowed last month to plead guilty to a lesser charge — driving while ability impaired, a noncriminal violation.
He was fined $340 and paid a $260 surcharge. His license was suspended for 90 days, but he was allowed to get a conditional license so he could travel back and forth to work. He had to listen to a victims impact panel.
We hope Sharp did listen and learn from the stories of lives lost and ruined.
We hope he did not take to heart the more obvious lesson of his case: that his family connections allowed him to walk away from a serious crime with a minor punishment.
Sharp’s sentence should have been proportionate to the seriousness of the offense, and it wasn’t.
He should have been charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated and felony vehicular assault. Then, if he had been allowed to plead, he could have pleaded down to no less than driving while intoxicated, and would have faced more severe penalties, including losing his license for six months.
Sharp could have learned a different lesson: that he was going to be held responsible for his actions, despite his family ties. That would have discouraged him from further recklessness.
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A man who served time on a drunk driving conviction in connection with a 2011 fatal crash has been sentenced on a second DUI charge.
A judge ordered Robert Darren Craft, 40, to serve nine months in jail this week for a count of DUI second offense. The latest incident took place back in December of last year, when he was pulled over after an officer said he was driving suspiciously. Officers said he failed field sobriety tests.
Kaitlynn Elizabeth Warner, 28, 601 Pleasantview Ave., Pasadena; charged Feb. 1, 2014; pleaded guilty DUI; bac refused; jail 60 days, suspend all; probation 18 months sup; AETD, VIP; fines/costs not listed.
Tyler David Bradfield, 19, 8512 Crooked Tree Lane, Laurel; charged March 2, 2014; pleaded guilty DUI; bac refused; jail 60 days, suspend all but 6 days, credit two days time served, to be served as two weekends; probation 18 months sup; $42.50/costs not listed.
Devin Gray Fraser, 27, 8354 Capel Drive, Pasadena; charged Sept. 21, 2013; pleaded guilty DWI; bac .22; jail 6 months, suspend all but 2 days; probation 18 months sup; $42.50/costs not listed.
Authorities say in 2009, 18-year-old Caroline Minks was killed in a drunk driving accident with Cody File behind the wheel on River Rd. He was sentenced to 14 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter, but only served eight months before he was granted shock probation.
Last month, 23-year-old File was arrested again for driving drunk in Henry County. He’s charged with DUI, failure to report a traffic accident and operating on a suspended license.
Franklin County (Pa.) Court of Common Pleas Judge Shawn Meyers questioned the response of Catherine Foy’s family to developments in the case.
“They are not happy with the plea, but I think it’s legally appropriate,” Rahauser said, noting that the relatives had hung up on him when he called.
Foy, 50, illegally passed a vehicle on Pa. 16 prior to the crash. The 2007 Subaru Outback he was driving left the road and hit a porch in Peters Township, Pa.
Assistant State’s Attorney James L. Britt said this was Weitzel’s third impaired driving conviction. One incident dated back to 1983, but another was more recent, Britt said. Online court records show in connection with a May 12, 2012, incident, Weitzel pleaded guilty to driving while impaired by alcohol on Jan. 24, 2013.
Brewer surrendered to begin his six-month jail term. The judge requested Brewer return to court for a June 12 progress report on the other portion of his sentence.
Conroy dismissed the prosecutors’ request for Brewer’s punishment to include a strike under the state’s three-strikes sentencing law.
But Bill Rigby said Zirk had many opportunities to prevent the accident, noting that Zirk’s mother had begged him not to drive that evening.
“Nobody forced him to drink. Nobody forced him to get in that car and drive off,” Bill Rigby said. “If there had been stiffer penalties, maybe my daughter would still be with me.”
An Army veteran, Angela Rigby, 33, had opened the Red, White and Beautiful Salon in Fairfield just a year prior to the accident. She loved animals and also left behind a brother and a 10-year-old daughter, Dasani.