Judge drops some charges against woman accused of leaving scene of fatal accident

maria-lentini-court-092016

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A woman accused in a deadly and unusual hit and run back in December appeared in court on Tuesday.

As Maria Lentini appeared in court her attorney took the opportunity to clear up stories about his client and coverage of the case.

Lentini’s attorney said he blamed the DA’s office for perpetuating media reports saying his client was accused of driving around with her alleged victim impaled on her windshield.

“I brought that misconception to the attention of the District Attorney’s office some months ago. And I am glad for the opportunity to clear this matter up.”

duff

The defense said his client stands accused of merely leaving the scene when she allegedly struck Patrick Duff, 30, while he walked along Route 9 in Halfmoon early December 6.

The indictment, first filed in June, said that Lentini allegedly left Duff’s body impaled on her car for about an hour and 15 minutes. The court documents go on to read that the defendant left the scene of the incident.

The prosecution, for the first time, cleared this up in court, explaining that they believe Lentini left in another vehicle. That was something never clarified in the court documents.

The indictment alleges Lentini texted friends and family members but never the police. It was Lentini’s sister who finally called 911.

The Judge did seem to admonish the prosecution saying her office did nothing to clear up the confusion.

“It would have been helpful had the district attorney clarified those fact early on perhaps.” Hon. James Murphy said. The Saratoga County ADA responded: “Yes, your honor”

DA Karen Heggen said her office had no knowledge of any confusion.

Lentini is still facing the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident without reporting personal injury which resulted in death. That carries the same penalty as the reckless endangerment charge.

The trial is set for November 14.

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