LOWER POTTSGROVE TWP., Pa. - Almost a year after a 16-year-old boy was hit and killed in a pedestrian accident, a woman has pleaded guilty. Investigators say she was not driving that night, even though she claimed to be.
Denise Dinnocenti appeared in a Montgomery County courtroom Wednesday afternoon and pleaded guilty to numerous charges related to lying to police about her involvement in a fatal pedestrian accident last year.
"She wants to accept responsibility for actions as they relate to this case," said Dinnocenti's defense attorney John McMahon Jr.
Police say on November 12, 2012, Dinnocenti's boyfriend, Robert Sitler, was driving a vehicle that hit and killed Timothy Paciello, 16, at the intersection of East High Street and Sunnyside Avenue in Lower Pottsgrove Township.
But at the accident scene and later in questioning, Dinnocenti's lawyer says she lied to police, saying she was actually the driver.
Her lawyer says she was trying to protect her boyfriend because he was drinking that night and he was found guilty of vehicular homicide in a previous pedestrian accident back in 2004 in Alabama.
"I can tell you that she sincerely has a lot of remorse over her actions. She regrets her actions," said McMahon.
But now, almost one year later, the victim's family says it is a little too late.
"I think it is getting closer to the trial and I think she is doing it to benefit herself. I do not think she has too much remorse and that is my opinion. It took until now for her to admit her guilt," said the victim's mother Renee Paciello.
Dinnocenti has agreed to testify against Sitler when the trial begins next week. The victim's family says they want justice to be served.
"This is not the first time he has done it. He has a long history. So I do not want another family hurt. I am hoping he is behind bars for life," said Paciello.
Until then, they just go on always remembering Timmy.
"Every day is hard but you just have to keep going through it. You just have to keep living. Just live each day like nothing ever happened," said the victim's brother Jason Paciello.
Sitler is facing vehicular homicide charges. His trial is set to begin on Monday.
Allentown, PA 18102