Toni Ann Marletta, the 50 year old Leonardo woman accused of killing Marissa Procopio, 15, of Atlantic Highlands, in a hit and run incident on Rt 36 last July, pleaded not guilty to Knowingly Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident which resulted in a death, a Second Degree Crime, two counts of Third Degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child this morning during her arraignment in Judge Ronald Reisner’s Courtroom in Freehold.
Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Meghan Doyle told Judge Reisner that the State has offered Marletta a plea deal which carries a 7 year sentence in state prison. Marletta has until September 6, the date of the next case conference, to accept that deal.
Peter M. O’Hara, Esq, Marletta’s defense attorney, said that he would be filing a motion to suppress some the the evidence against his client.
Marletta was arrested on July 15 last year, one week after Procopio has struck and killed on Route 36 in the Leonardo section of Middletown. She was charged at the time with Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident, Failing to Report a Motor Vehicle Accident, No Insurance, Unsafe Tires and Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident. She was incarcerated in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $150,000 bail with no 10% option, as set by Judge Honora O’Brien-Kilgallen. Marletta was released from MCCI on August 4 after Judge Francis Vernoia allowed her to post 10% of her 150,000 bail. She remains free on bail pending trial.
Procopio was crossing the Route 36 at the intersection of Ave D at approximately 8:25 pm when she was stuck by a light grey compact car traveling west. The car fled the scene before police arrived. Marissa was transported via Medivac helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune. She succumbed to her injuries at 3:46 p.m. on July 9.
A review of videotape of the accident provided by local business owner Michael D’Alessio resulted in the Middletown Police announcing that the vehicle which struck Marissa was driven by Marletta.
Following Marletta’s indictment last month, Danielle Procopio, Marissa’s mother, said that investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Middletown Police Department shared the results of a toxicology report with her. The report indicated that Marletta had cocaine and alcholol in her system when she was tested following the accident, but the state’s expert could not conclusively say that the substances were in her system at the time of the hit and run incident.
In an interview with MMM, Danielle said she is frustrated that Marletta is not being charged with vehicular homicide.
Marletta remains free on bail. As a condition of her bail, she is prohibited from driving.