Drunken driver apologizes at manslaughter sentencing
Dina Senibaldi and her mother asked the family of Lisa Delprete for forgiveness Thursday as the 28-year-old Massachusetts native was sentenced to six years in prison for causing the crash that killed Delprete and critically injured another man in April 2011.
Senibaldi, of Everett, Mass., delivered her apology in New London Superior Court after Delprete's daughters, Bianca and Kristina, broke down while describing how state troopers had come to the door in the middle of the night two years ago to deliver the news that shattered their lives.
"I know no words I could ever say to bring their mother back," Senibaldi said. "I'm so sorry, and I hope they find it, from the grace of God, to forgive me."
Senibaldi was driving in excess of 100 mph and had a blood alcohol level of 0.110 when her car slammed into a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Edmund Davis on Interstate 395 South in Waterford, according to prosecutor Michael E. Kennedy. The Jeep rolled over several times before coming to rest on a guardrail.
Delprete, a passenger in the Jeep, who was 45, died as a result of her injuries, and Davis was critically injured. Police said they found oxycodone and marijuana in Senibaldi's possession.
Senibaldi's mother, Jackie Senibaldi, stood up in court to tell Davis and Delprete's family that they are in her thoughts and prayers. She said her daughter, a good girl, had gone "down a path of destruction" that led to this tragedy.
Crying, she asked that the victims "not look at my daughter as a monster."
Davis, who sat behind the Delprete family, chose not to address the court, but spoke to a probation officer who prepared a presentencing report. He had suffered broken ribs, collapsed lungs, facial fractures and other injuries and underwent multiple surgeries following the crash.
Davis told the probation officer Senibaldi had gone on a cruise following the crash and did not appear to make any changes to her lifestyle. 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.
"I don't think she has come to grips with how her behavior has affected all these people," Kennedy, the prosecutor, told Judge Karen A. Goodrow. "Please impress upon her that you cannot live like this. You'll just cause pain and suffering to others."
Goodrow served as a public defender and director of The Innocence Project prior to her appointment to the bench earlier this year.
"It's devastating the loss you have caused," Goodrow told Senibaldi. "Often people who are standing where you are standing have difficulty accepting what they have done."
Defense attorney Bryan P. Fiengo said Senibaldi may have given the impression of coldness because she has difficulty expressing her emotions.
"There's genuine feelings of remorse," he said. "She has a true sadness."
Senibaldi will be on probation for five years following her release from prison. Goodrow ordered her to participate in a Mothers Against Drunk Driving victim impact panel and to reimburse the victims for any verifiable out-of-pocket costs for which they were not reimbursed, including medical and funeral expenses and loss of personal property.