FREEHOLD – A Monmouth County grand jury has returned a 4-count indictment charging a Middletown woman with leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident last summer that took the life of a 15-year-old Atlantic Highlands girl, announced Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni.
Toni A. Marletta, 50, of 12 Thompson Avenue in the Leonardo section of Middletown Township, is charged with one count of second degree Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in a Fatality, one count of second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child and two counts of third degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, as result of the fatal motor vehicle collision on July 7, 2015.
Middletown Township police were dispatched at approximately 8:24 p.m. on July 7, 2015, to Route 36 in the area of Avenue D for a report of a pedestrian struck by a motor vehicle. Upon arrival, police immediately located the 15-year-old victim, Marissa Procopio, of Atlantic Highlands. She was taken to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune Township where she died on July 8.
An investigation into the fatal collision by Middletown Township police, in cooperation from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, determined the victim was crossing Route 36 in the area of Avenue D, when she was struck by a motor vehicle driven by Marletta. After the collision, Marletta fled the scene with her three passengers: Marletta’s 16-year-old daughter and two other 16-year-old girls. As result of information obtained, police were able to locate Marletta’s vehicle that evening parked outside of her home. The vehicle displayed damage consistent with the collision. Marletta ultimately arrived at the Middletown Township Police Department but was later released pending further investigation into the collision.
The investigation progressed and Marletta was charged on July 15, 2015 with Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in a Fatality. Marletta was held in the Monmouth County Correction Institution, Freehold Township, on $150,000 bail with no 10 percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, then-P.J.Cr. Marletta later filed a motion for a bail reduction, which was granted in part by Judge Vernoia allowing her the option of posting 10 percent of the bail amount.
Marletta posted bail and was released on Aug. 4, 2015.
Marletta also faces motor vehicle summonses related to the collision for Failure to Report a Motor Vehicle Collision, Uninsured Motor Vehicle, and for having an Unsafe Tire.
If convicted of Knowingly Leaving the Scene of an Accident Resulting in a Fatality, Marletta faces up to 10 years in a New Jersey state prison. The second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child charge also carries a potential prison sentence of up to ten years, and the third degree charges carry a potential custodial prison sentence of three to five years each, if convicted.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle. Marletta is represented by Peter M. O’Mara, Esq., of Little Silver.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
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