Handcuffed and speaking in halting sentences to two men forced to sit Monday morning in state Superior Court in Norwalk because of injuries they’d sustained in a car crash she caused nearly two years ago, a New Canaan woman in court custody apologized and said she never meant to hurt anyone. During her sentencing on a misdemeanor reckless driving charge that followed the October 2014 crash on Silvermine Road and a subsequent, separate drunk driving charge at Saxe Middle School pickup, the woman, 52, told Michael Bivona and Darryl Shaw that she was “so sorry for everything.”
“I pray for you every day,” the woman, wearing a purple blouse, back pants and sneakers, told the men. She added: “I do not want you to think that you are not on my mind.”
Under a plea deal worked out between her attorney, John Robert Gulash of Bridgeport-based Gulash & Associates, and the office of assistant state’s attorney Nadia Prinz, she pleaded no contest and was fined the maximum $300 for the reckless driving charge and an additional $500 plus court costs and sentenced to six months, suspended after 48 hours. The formal ‘nolo contendere’ plea means that she accepts a conviction though she does not admit guilt.
Judge Alex Hernandez said she also would have to make any “verifiable restitution” following the accident she caused, undergo substance abuse counseling, attend four MADD victim impact panels over the two-year period and may need to use an interlock safety device with her car, pending a DMV decision. Gulash called the sentencing “the result of very extensive discussions” with prosecutors, and said it represents a fair mix of “punishment, treatment and safeguards” for the woman in the future.