Driver gets 3 years, 1 month in UConn hit and run

Freshman Carlee Wines was killed
January 23, 2008 10:11:31 AM PST
A 19-year-old from Long Island was sentenced Wednesday to three years and one month in prison for the hit-and-run death of a University of Connecticut freshman last winter. Anthony Alvino, of Lindenhurst, said during the emotional hearing in Rockville Superior Court that he hoped Carlee Wines' family could one day forgive him but that he could never forgive himself.

"I'm truly sorry for causing the death of Carlee Wines," he said. "It's been something I've wanted to say for the past year. I was advised not to. I know I should have stopped. I wish there was something I could say that would lessen the pain and suffering I have caused."

Alvino pleaded no contest in October to misconduct with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility.

His plea agreement called for 10 years in prison, suspended after four, but his attorney had the right to argue for a lower sentence.

Wines, 19, of Manalapan, N.J., was hit by the SUV Alvino was driving as she crossed the street on the UConn campus in Storrs last January.

Alvino drove away and police say that a day after Wines died, Alvino's parents drove to St. Bonaventure University in New York, where their son was a student, and advised two of his friends who were in the SUV not to tell anyone about the incident.

Wines' family asked Superior Court Judge Terence Sullivan to make an example of Alvino. Prosecutors played a DVD with baby pictures and video of Wines.

"I couldn't begin to describe to you who my daughter was. I could share stories with you but it would just not do her justice," her mother, Pamela Wines, told Sullivan. "To just leave her at the side of the road to die is just incomprehensible. He should be held responsible."

Alvino was visiting his girlfriend, Michelle Hall. She was in the car with him and also faces charges, as do his parents.

Hall and Alvino were arrested in February after police tracked down Alvino through the networking Web site Facebook.

Two other people told police Alvino and others had been drinking before the crash.

Sullivan said Wednesday that it was not clear whether or how much Alvino had been drinking. But he said Alvino lacked character because he did not stop to try to help Carlee Wines and that he would have seen her in the crosswalk if he had been paying attention.

After Alvino finishes his prison sentence, he will serve five years probation, during which he can't drive for the first 18 months. He must also perform community service and donate $500 a year to a memorial fund for Wines.