Killer who drove over woman in Yonkers fails in bid for a reduced sentence- justinbuzz
A woman who killed a romantic rival by driving over her in Yonkers eight years ago has been denied a reduction in her 25-year prison sentence.
Carla Scott, 42, had hoped to cut her sentence for first-degree manslaughter by at least two thirds when she argued that the killing of Glynis Pinto resulted from post traumatic stress caused by years of domestic abuse.
But Westchester County Judge George Fufidio ruled that it was not clear that the past abuse had been a significant factor in Scott’s crime and that her own history of violence toward rivals meant the original sentence was not too harsh.
Scott’s application came under a 2019 state law, the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, offering mitigation for abuse victim who commit crimes. Her lawyers had sought a new sentence between three and eight years.
Fufidio ordered a resentencing hearing in 2021 after Scott satisfied the first prong of the law, providing documentation that she had been the victim of substantial domestic violence. The hearing stretched out over several months last year and included testimony from Scott and expert witnesses for both her and the prosecution.
The defendant must prove three things: that at the time of the crime she was a victim of substantial physical, sexual or psychological domestic abuse; that the abuse was a significant contributor to the crime; and the original sentence was unduly harsh.
On April 18, 2015, Scott was sitting in her car on Warburton Avenue with her son, a friend and the friend’s two children when Pinto and some of her friends approached the car.
Scott was pregnant with her sixth child at the time and Pinto was romantically involved with Scott’s longtime boyfriend.
Evidence at the trial included testimony that Pinto told the friends to be ready for a fight and had demanded Scott get out of the car. But Fufidio also cited evidence that Scott stalked Pinto and the boyfriend and texted threats to the boyfriend.
When Pinto was in front of the car, Scott accelerated, knocking Pinto onto the hood. Pinto fell off and Scott ran over her before driving off.
The DVSJA requires a “temporal nexus” between the domestic violence and the defendant’s crime. Fufidio found that although there had been no abuse of Scott for at least four months before the crime, the post traumatic stress induced by years of earlier abuse allowed her to meet that first prong.
But the judge said that because both the PTSD and Scott’s anti-social personality disorder were contributing factors to the crime, he could not make the determination which one had been the significant factor.
And he also found that Scott’s history of violence towards female rivals meant the 25-year prison term, although the maximum, was not unduly harsh.
“It is evident that the Defendant has not demonstrated, in or out of prison, that if she did earn a reduced sentence that she would not simply slip back into her established patterns of violent behavior,” wrote Fufidio, who also relied on an appellate ruling that the original sentence was not excessive.
John Lewis, Scott’s lawyer, said Fufidio conducted a fair hearing but he was “tremendously disappointed” by the ruling and it would be appealed.
“Where I disagree with his conclusion is I don’t feel he gave enough consideration to the fact that Carla was essentially entrapped and attacked by her enemy and her friends,” Lewis said. “Had that not occurred the homicide would not have happened.”
Seven DVSJA cases have now been decided in Westchester, with only one defendant being resentenced. Jonitha Alston was freed from prison last year after a 12-year prison term for manslaughter in the 2016 killing of her boyfriend in New Rochelle was shortened to five years. That was the only case in which the Westchester District Attorney’s Office has consented to the sentence reduction.
This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Carla Scott denied relief under act for killing romantic rival