Marletta blames the victim of her hit and run

Pool photo by Tom Costello, Asbury Park Press

Pool photo by Tom Costello, Asbury Park Press

Toni Ann Marletta, 50, of Leonardo, said “I found that out,” when asked by Assistant Prosecutor Meghan Doyle if she was aware that Marissa Procopio had died as a result of being stuck by the car Marletta was driving on Route 36 on July 7, 2015.

In her allocution, Marletta said that she fled the scene of the accident because she had let her insurance lapse two months earlier.  She admitted asking the children, her daughter and two others, who were passengers in the car not to talk about the accident until she figured out what she was going to do about it.

Marletta pleaded guilty to Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident that resulted in a Death and to two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child this morning before Superior Court Judge Ronald Reisner in Freehold.   Under a plea agreement, the prosecution is recommending a sentence of 7 years for Leaving the Scene and 4 years for Endangering—to be served concurrently.  Marletta will also face fines and a license suspension for motor vehicle infractions including having no insurance.

Marletta will be sentenced on December 2.  She remains free on $150,000 bail with the restriction that she is not to drive.

Marletta was arrested on July 15 last year, one week after Procopio was struck and killed on Route 36 in the Leonardo section of Middletown. She was charged at the time with Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident, Failing to Report a Motor Vehicle Accident, No Insurance, Unsafe Tires and Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident.  She was incarcerated in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $150,000 bail with no 10% option, as set by Judge Honora O’Brien-Kilgallen.  Marletta was released from MCCI on August 4 after Judge Francis Vernoia allowed her to post 10% of her 150,000 bail. 

Procopio was crossing Route 36 at the intersection of Ave D at approximately 8:25 pm when she was stuck by a light grey compact car traveling west. The car fled the scene before police arrived.  Marissa was transported via Medivac helicopter to Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune.  She succumbed to her injuries at 3:46 p.m. on July 9.

In a statement issued by her attorney, Peter O’Mara, Marletta said that Procopio crossed Route 36 against a red light and with “a gaited walk and, in the middle of crossing the highway’s westbound lanes, she began running and after running a few steps, was struck by right passenger side of vehicle.”

The statement said that state experts determined by the use of videos that Marletta was traveling at 41 mph in a 50 mph zone and was traveling through a green light at the time of the accident.

There was no evidence or testimony of drug or alcohol use during the Court proceedings.  Yet the statement O’Mara distributed said that blood and toxicology test Marletta submitted to hours after accident were inconclusive.

Procopio’s mother, Danielle Procopio-Adams, told MMM that authorities told her that Marletta’s blood and toxicology results indicated that she was under the influence of cocaine and alcohol at the time she was tested, but that the tests could not prove that Marletta was under the influence at the time of the accident.

Outside the courtroom this morning, Procopio-Adams told the crowd of reporters and spectators surrounding her that “the electric chair wouldn’t be good enough, how’s that?”  In response to whether she felt vindicated or would have preferred to go through a fourth court proceeding and a trial, the grieving mother relented slightly, and said, “what good would that do? She probably would have served half the time and then gone free to enjoy her family and her life. Seven years isn’t enough.”

“You found that out!?  A person with morals stops the car!” Procopio-Adams shouted at Marletta in the courthouse hallway.

Procopio-Adams said she believes that Marletta fled the scene because she knew she was intoxicated, not because her insurance had lapsed.

“Toni Marletta is not a murderer, as she has been called,” the statement distributed by O’Mara said. “nor did she get away with homicide. This matter was thoroughly investigated by top experts in all fields of analysis from traffic reconstruction experts to toxicological forensic scientists. The evidence was presented by our highly regarded County Prosecutor’s Office to a 24 person Grand Jury, and these were the charges the evidence supported.”

Muriel J. Smith contributed to this article.


Posted: September 16th, 2016 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News, New Jersey | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Marletta blames the victim of her hit and run”

  1. Laurel said at 2:01 pm on September 16th, 2016:

    Serioulsy this women showed no remorse what so ever that she killed a beauitful young girl with a bright future ahead of her..she showed no remorsed that this girls mother will never get to hug hold or speak to her child again..talk to her neighbors and ask them how much she drinks

  2. Toni said at 3:04 pm on September 16th, 2016:

    Would you stop if you hit someone? Even if they had the right of way or not? If it was an accident and you hit someone even with the sun in your eyes… would you stop to help? None of the reasons of what could have been the reason matter.. I can’t understand why anyone would make excuses for any part of this. I understand accidents happen but why not stop to help? She got out of her car to check the damage… Why not check the child that was laying on the ground hurt??

  3. Brian Roberts said at 3:06 pm on September 16th, 2016:

    As sad as this case is , this poor girl lost her life cause she was doing everything wrong as she crossed a very dangerous part of this highway . She was texting moments before the accident , and tried to beat the car which was not speeding or breaking any laws…. an expert , whom was a part of the prosicitors team , agreed that she made a fatal mistake in trying to beat the car…. maybe they should ask her mom who she was texting moments before she tried to cross…

  4. Joe said at 5:47 pm on September 16th, 2016:

    the fact that she had been texting, and crossed in the wrong part, etc cannot be disputed…..but for the driver to not stop and try to help, then ask children to keep it a secret is beyond disgusting. Hopefully she will share a cell with someone who will teach her that.

  5. Bob said at 5:53 pm on September 16th, 2016:

    She is a worthless POS and should be in jail for 20 years or more. Her actions were despicable for any human, much less someone who is a “mother”. Another example of what’s wrong with our legal system, hit and kill someone, leave the scene and ask children and other adults to LIE for you, test positive for illegal substances, just pure garbage, I hope you rot in jail!!

  6. Darcy said at 7:21 am on September 17th, 2016:

    Brian Roberts, maybe you should get your facts straight before commenting on something you know nothing about. Video and witnesses show Marissa had the right of way, not the monster who hit her and left her to die. This poor excuse for a human being was more concerned with her precious car than for the life of my niece, or the well being of the children with her. Please take your opinions, crawl back under your rock and leave us alone.

  7. Ellen said at 8:21 am on September 17th, 2016:

    It’s hard for me to wrap my head around how anyone would blame Marissa for this. The evidence that was presented shows that it was not. The fact remains, Marletta hit Marissa and only stopped Long enough to check the damage on her car knowing full well that she hit her. Then speeding away telling the 3 teenage girls not to say anything. She claims she took off because she had no insurance on her car but stopped long enough to check out the damage does that make any sense. She took off because she had drugs and alcohol in her system and needed time to cover it up which she successfully did because it couldn’t be proven when it was in her system. Not only did she ruin the lives of Marissa’s family and friends but for the 3 girls that were in her car. What kind of example did she set for her own child? Marletta’s tears yesterday were not for sympathy for Marissa and her family they were because she had to hear out loud that she was going to jail.

    If this was truly an accident and Marletta stayed at the scene to help then it may have gone another way. Instead she chose differently. What she did is not forgivable her actions makes her a cold hearted and selfish person.

    I didn’t know Marissa personally, I do know her family. Marissa was a sweet and kind young lady, she gave of herself freely to help others even in death.

    Justice was not served yesterday! Sitting in the courtroom. Listening to her attorney ask questions as to what happened and her answering with yes or no answers was difficult. But what was nore difficult was the lack of remorse for killing a child and then giving a statement after court blaming the victim. Makes me sick to my stomach!