New Castle News

District Judges

April 17, 2014

Emotional Closure: Woman sentenced in Jerry McCarthy’s death

NEW CASTLE — The driver of the car that killed a Shenango Township policeman is heading to prison.

Kylee Gwen Barletto, 26, apologized Wednesday to the family of William J. “Jerry” McCarthy and to her family after pleading guilty to eight of 16 charges against her.

In addition to serving five to 10 years in a state correctional facility, Lawrence County Judge J. Craig Cox sentenced Barletto to pay $925 in fines, costs of prosecution and to provide a DNA sample.

Barletto’s attorney, Phil DiLucente of Pittsburgh, asked that the sentence include treatment for the anxiety and depression that has beset Barletto since the May 2 crash that resulted in the death of McCarthy, 60.

DiLucente noted Barletto had no drugs or alcohol in her system, no criminal record and her action, though negligent, was not intentional.

Barletto, of 693 Hoover Road, was given credit for 339 days served, having been in the Lawrence County jail since May 13. She was hospitalized in Youngstown after the crash and moved to the Mahoning County jail before being jailed here.

Anthony J. Krastek, senior deputy attorney general who prosecuted the case, negotiated the guilty plea and presented the sentence recommendations. Barletto’s guilty pleas and sentences are:

•Manslaughter of a law enforcement officer, three to six years

•Homicide by vehicle, no further penalty

•Fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, one to two years, to be served concurrently with the manslaughter sentence, and $500 fine

•Involvement in an accident involving death or injury while not being properly licensed, no further penalty

•Summary traffic offenses, $25 fine

•Reckless driving, $200 fine

•Aggravated assault, two to four years in a state correctional institution to be served consecutively to the manslaughter charge

•Driving while operating privileges are suspended or revoked, $200 fine.

Other charges — involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person, aggravated assault and simple assault — were withdrawn or consolidated as part of the plea bargain.

Krastek summarized events of May 2, saying Barletto had failed to stop at an intersection and was fleeing New Castle police. At South Cascade Street and Warren Avenue, he continued, she did not stop at a traffic sign and struck a Shenango police car, killing McCarthy. Officer Michael Lynch, the driver, had a broken hip and ankle.

McCarthy was a full-time humane officer in the Lawrence County district attorney’s office and a part-time Shenango officer, but was off duty that night.

Law enforcement personnel filled the courtroom Wednesday. State police were joined by officers from various departments including New Castle, Shenango, Hickory, Mahoning, Pulaski, Neshannock and New Wilmington. The county district attorney’s office was represented, as were the adult and juvenile probation offices.

Members of McCarthy’s family talked of their loss and how their lives have changed.

All spoke — some tearfully — of his love and devotion to his family and friends. Sobbing was heard in the courtroom as family letters were read and the sentence imposed.

Stepson Phillip McFall said McCarthy “was my father in every way possible” and “showed by example how to be a loving husband and father.”

Since the accident, Benjamin McCarthy said, he has asked “Why? What purpose was served? I was never able to tell my father goodbye.”

Christine McCarthy Head said her father taught her patience, respect, compassion, responsibility and accountability — something he will never teach her children.

“My dad loved the law. He lived, breathed and followed it, and he died upholding it.”

A relative read a letter from McCarthy’s widow, Patty Jo, noting the loss of her best friend and soulmate.

“Jerry would have said ‘I love and forgive you,’ ” she told Barletto, “but I need time to heal.”

Krastek noted that since her arrest, Barletto has wanted to resolve the case, adding, “That would not be possible but for Kylee’s genuine remorse.”

DiLucente called the sentence “a fair and equitable result.”

He added Barletto doesn’t know why she ran that day. “She may have been anxious because she had no license.”

Cox said he also knew McCarthy, adding he felt he could be impartial regarding the sentence.

Noting he has been a judge for 15 years and was an assistant district attorney for 19 years, he said he has encountered many homicides, all of which were tragedies.

“But I don’t know if any were as tragic as this. These horrible events have caused pain to both families. This was a senseless tragedy.

“Jerry was an exceptional person.”

(Email: nlowry@ncnewsonline.com)

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