Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It takes all kinds.....

It began around 2 am January 20 2006 on North Eagleville Rd, Storrs CT when Carlee Wines was stuck by a car that then fled the scene. On January 22, Wines died at Hartford Hospital and it wasn't until 35 days later that the police made their first arrests in the case. What seems to be their last arrests came on November 12 2007 but it may have left many wondering as to why the police had taken that many months to make the arrests.

Police arrested Anthony Alvino, now 19 on Feb 15 along with his girlfriend, Michelle Hall. It was reported that Alvino, a student at St Bonaventure University was visiting Hall, a Uconn student at the time. Hall and two others were drinking and were in the car while Albino struck Wines that night. Not only did Hall reportedly yell to Alvino to keep driving but all of them stayed on the UConn campus that night. They knew in the morning that a student had been struck by a car and was in the hospital and they also knew that the police were looking for the vehicle and the driver as well.

It wasn't until after the arrest of Alvino and Hall that much of the story was reported and that seemed to shock most people more than just the fact of a drunk driver had hit a student. Alvino was arrested on numerous charges, Hall, then 18, on several and later, UConn student Kara Satalin, then 18, was charged with buying the alcohol that the two and their friends had drank.

Alvino evidently told his parents that he had read on Jan 22 that he had read that the girl that was hit had died after driving his Nissan Armada back to the campus of St Bonaventure. His parents responded by saying that they would drive up to the school to talk to him about it. I think many parents, although they would dread the consequences, would have got their son an attorney and had him turn himself in. The Alvinos evidently thought very differently that day.

Anthony C and Donna Alvino picked up their son and his two friends, Anthony Muccioli and Jordan P Donahue at their dorms and drove them to the Microtel motel near the university. Both Muccioli and Donahue were in the backseat of the Nissan when Alvino struck Wines. Anthony C Alvino reportedly stated that he loved his son and wanted to protect him and his way of doing that entailed telling his friends not to tell anyone about the accident, offering them counseling if they needed to talk about it and suggesting a friend who could fix and detail the car. They took the boys to dinner at Applebee's and checked out of the hotel the next day, driving the Nissan back to their Long Island home.

The UConn police had determined from part of the headlight housing that they were searching for either a 2004-2006 Nissan Armada SUV or a 2004-2006 Nissan Titan Truck. They had checked more than 100 Armadas in Connecticut and surrounding states when they received a call from a lawyer representing the Alvino family. The New York attorney gave them information about the damaged Nissan the Alvino family owned. Even at the point of turning over the Nissan though, the Alvinos kept quiet about their son's part in the crime.

Anthony Alvino has now pleaded no contest to charges of misconduct with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility. He is schedualed to be sentenced in Jan 23 2008, a year and a day from the death of Wines. The plea deal he was offered is a 10 year sentence, suspended after 4 years in jail and 5 years probation. The Wines family is said to have no objection to the deal but Pamela Wines, Carlee's mother had filed a civil suit against Alvino this past summer. If he had pleaded guilty, that could have been used against him in the civil suit. Hall still has charges pending against her in court for her part in the hit and run.

On Tuesday, Alvino's parents were finally arrested for their parts in this case. Anthony C, 45, and Donna, 46, are each charged with felonies of tampering withevidence and misdemeanors of hindering prosecution, tampering with witnesses and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. They turned themselves in at a New York State Police sub-station in Olean NY and were brought into the courtroom at 9 am in handcuffs. They were released on their own recognizance and left the courtroom in a limousine with their attorney. They are both due to appear in Allegany Town Court on Jan 14 2008.

What I find difficult to understand is why it has taken the police almost a year to arrest the Alvinos for what has been reported to be a very active attempt to prevent their son from being arrested for the hit and run. I can understand how someone young and drunk could flee an accident scene but to have 4 individuals keep their mouths shut about it as well as parents who willingly tried to cover up the crime.... that goes beyond just wanting to "love" their son. He didn't just hit a mailbox or fence or even injure someone...... he killed another young student. He may be facing 4 years for that poor decision that evening but I do hope that his parents face jail time as well for their equally poor parenting example.

Of note: photos are of Anthony Alvino, Carlee Wines and Anthony C & Donna Alvino.

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