Brianna Scarpulla, the young woman from Hilton who was charged with manslaughter following a 2018 crash that killed her friend, Paige Smith, has accepted a plea deal.
Under the terms of the plea, Scarpulla pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and reckless driving. She will serve one year of probation and if she abides by the terms of the probation, she will have the chance to withdraw the plea for criminally negligent homicide and be sentenced only on the charge of reckless driving with possible youthful offender status. Prosecutors said that will carry another two years of probation.
The assistant district attorney, Zach Maurer, said he’s been in contact with the victim’s family since he took over the case in January. He said the plea deal was reached with their support.
It was an emotional day in court for both families as they continue to recover from the crash that changed their lives forever. Maurer said its difficult to even begin to try to resolve something like this through the criminal justice system.
“When I walked in today the defendant was sitting next to the victim’s mother. They’ve known each other for years, this is the sort of tragedy that unfortunately will affect all of them for the rest of their lives,” said Maurer.
Scarpulla, who was 18 at the time, was driving when her car was involved in a head-on crash on Latta Road in Greece in June 2018. Police say the vehicle crossed the center lane and struck an oncoming SUV. Paige Smith, who was a passenger in Scarpulla’s car, died at the scene.
Police say the crash was the result of reckless driving, in which Scarpulla was driving 70 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone. The assistant district attorney says she was also trying to get the attention of another car when the crash occurred.
Scarpulla’s toxicology report revealed she was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash.
“I would hope that the message that any of this sends is loud and clear from the loss of life that we’re seeing in a case like this. You hope that people see something tragic like this and it’s the sort of thing that shakes them into behaving more responsibly we hope that’s all it takes,” said Maurer.