District Attorney Hoovler Announces Guilty Plea in Automobile Fatalities
New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty to Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter
In Connection with the Deaths of Two Women
Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Tuesday, December 11, 2018, Christopher Perrella, 32, of Vernon, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Robert H. Freehill to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide in connection with the deaths of two women, who were passengers in a car that Perrella had been driving on November 4, 2017. At the time of the collision, the defendant was driving a car containing a male friend, that friend’s fiancée, and Perrella’s girlfriend. The two couples had visited a possible wedding venue in the Town of Warwick. Both women were killed when the car crashed into a house on Glenwood Road, in the Town of Warwick. Perrella was charged with driving while his ability to operate the car was impaired by both alcohol and marijuana.
As part of plea agreement announced at the time of the plea the District Attorney’s Office announced that it will be recommending that Perrella be sentenced to six to eighteen years in prison when he is sentenced on January 24, 2019. The Court stated it would sentenced Perrella to no more than five to fifteen years in state prison.
District Attorney Hoovler thanked the Town of Warwick Police Department for their investigation and the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit for their aid in the investigation.
“What should have been a trip planning one of the most joyous events in life, turned into a tragedy because of this defendant’s decision to drive while intoxicated,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “Fatalities caused by those who drive while impaired by alcohol or other substances are as tragic as they are preventable. I thank the Town of Warwick Police Department and the New York State Police Accident Reconstruction Unit for their investigation of this matter during the grand jury investigation. My deepest condolences go out to the family of both of the deceased women in this case.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher Kelly and Assistant District Attorney Robert DeMono.
A criminal charge is merely an allegation that a defendant has committed a violation of the criminal law, and it is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the State of New York’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.