Hit and Run Child Killer to be Resentenced

UPDATE: Marletta’s resentencing hearing has been rescheduled for 2PM on December 15 in Judge Falcetano’s courtroom.


Toni Ann Marletta, the woman who struck and killed 15 year old Marissa Procopio of Atlantic Highlands on Route 36 in Leonardo on July 7, 2015 and left the scene, will be resentenced for the crimes she pleaded guilty to on December 15.

A two-judge panel of the Court’s Appellate Division vacated Marletta’s 7 year sentence for Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident and 4 year sentence for Endangering the Welfare of a Child on October 25, according to a report published by The Monmouth Journal.  The Appellate Court ruled that the Trial Court shall not consider one of the aggravating factors of the case and shall consider two mitigating factors in the resentencing.  The Order did not explain those factors or the reasons for overturning the original sentence because the case is sealed.

Marletta has been incarcerated since December 2, 2016. She is eligible for parole under the original sentence on May 30, 2018.

“I’m outraged that a woman who took my child who had at least 70 more years is even trying to be released after a year in jail,” Marissa’s mother, Danielle, said in a statement to MMM. “It’s unjust to even consider giving this animal any lesser of a sentence then she was already gifted with for leaving the scene and leaving my daughter there to die. She has shown she is inhumane and looking to be rewarded for this behavior a year later????? How is this possible?”

In her allocution when pleading guilty under an agreement with the prosecution on September 16, 2016, 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.

Danielle and Marissa Procopio

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 before Superior Court Judge Ronald Reisner in Freehold.   Under a plea agreement, the prosecution is recommended 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 when she is released from prison.

Reisner has since retired. Judge Vincent N. Falcetano Jr. is schedule to resentence Marletta on December 15 at 10:30 a.m.

Marletta was arrested on July 15 last year, one week after Procopio was struck and killed. 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,  following her guilty plea, 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, 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, Danielle Procopio 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.”

Danielle Procopio 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.”


Posted: November 18th, 2017 | Author: | Filed under: Monmouth County News | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “Hit and Run Child Killer to be Resentenced”

  1. Deb B said at 4:58 pm on November 19th, 2017:

    This is a woman who hit a child with her car, left her to die, instructed other children in her car not to say anything and used the excuse that she let her insurance lapse? What on earth could the mitigating circumstances be? This is the second time I am hearing about a hit and run killer possibly getting off. What is wrong with NJs justice system? Marissa was one of the good kids, a sweet girl with a loving family and a bright future and this criminal took her out of this world, a world that was better with her in it. By letting the killer go, our courts tell the 3 kids in the car with her that it’s ok to do what that woman did . Judges- set a good example for a change. Keep this woman behind bars where she can’t kill anyone else.

  2. Leo Murphy said at 12:01 am on November 20th, 2017:

    What has happened to justice in N.J. is money and friends equals leniency in the justice system.Marletta should have been charged with several crimes and received maxium sentences on each one. Death by auto,dui,leaving the scene of an accident,failure to render aid,endangering the welfare of a child.The mother of Marissa may well sue her in cival court but it wont bring back her child. Marletta showed callous disregard for life and she should not be set free early .Its clear she has money and means to gain early release.The courts are saying its ok to drive drunk kill somebody break a bunch of laws and serve minamal time.WTF people WTF.Keep this drunk in jail where she belongs

  3. Justice in NJ? said at 9:09 am on November 21st, 2017:

    It’s about the same as some “justice” in the nation: different strokes for different folks: let’s drum up offenses against our president, while nearly the entire Clinton/ Obama crew ( and some holdovers,) likely committed treason against our country, or worse, and nothing happens to them. It is stuff like this that causes some formerly strong, wealthy democracies to fall apart.

  4. Nancy said at 4:33 pm on December 1st, 2017:

    Toni Marletta is a normal person just like you and me Accidents happen everyday . She feels very bad for the mother cause she is one too. If she could change everything that happened she would