Family members of a North Haven woman who died in an April 2011 crash on Interstate 395 in Waterford tearfully addressed a Superior Court judge Thursday as 28-year-old Dina Senibaldi pleaded no contest to manslaughter, assault and drunken driving charges.
Senibaldi will be sentenced Aug. 22 to six years in prison followed by five years probation.
"The sentence is nowhere near enough, but 100 years wouldn't be enough," said Gerard Delprete, who had been married to 45-year-old Lisa Delprete for 27 years.
Senibaldi had been driving about 100 miles per hour near Exit 77 of I-395 South when her car slammed into a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Edmund Davis, according to prosecutor Michael E. Kennedy. The Jeep rolled over several times before coming to rest on a guardrail. Delprete died as a result of her injuries, and Davis was critically injured.
Senibaldi refused a field sobriety test at the scene, but state police later obtained blood test results indicating her blood alcohol level was .110, according to Kennedy.
Delprete's husband, mother, daughters and other family members filled a bench in the Broad Street, New London, courthouse Thursday morning, and several began to weep as soon as Senibaldi's case was called.
"She's changed my whole life," said the victim's daughter, Bianca Delprete. "She's taken away the most amazing person."
"She has destroyed our lives," said Lucia Ciocca, Delprete's mother.
More than 1,500 people attended Delprete's funeral, according to the family. She missed out on realizing her dream of becoming a grandmother by months, according to Bianca Delprete, who now has a 15-month-old daughter.
Davis, who suffered broken ribs, collapsed lungs, facial fractures and other injuries, underwent multiple surgeries following the crash. He said his life, "physically and mentally," will never be the same.
"I'm not sure there is any fair verdict," Davis said.
The prosecutor had worked out the plea agreement with Senibaldi's attorney, Brian P. Fiengo, and Judge Kevin P. McMahon.
Judge Karen A. Goodrow was on the bench as Senibaldi, a petite woman in sweat clothes, was led out in chains to enter her plea. Goodrow said her "heart goes out" to the victims and encouraged Senibaldi to speak with her attorney about what might be an appropriate comment at sentencing.
Senibaldi has pending court cases in Florida and Massachusetts. She was free on bond and awaiting trial in the manslaughter case when police in Chelsea, Mass., arrested her on Oct. 3, 2012, on multiple drug possession and distribution charges. Connecticut authorities discovered the new arrest after Senibaldi failed to appear in court in November.