Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced today that Charlene Morales (age 41), of Providence, pleaded nolo contendere before Providence Superior Court Justice Joseph A. Montalbano to charges of driving under the influence, death resulting and driving to endanger, death resulting, stemming from a 2016 automobile crash which claimed the life of a 77-year-old woman.
Under the plea agreement, Morales faces a total sentence of 15 years with no less than five years and no more than 12 years to serve at the Adult Correctional Institution with the remainder suspended with probation. In addition, her license will be suspended for no less than five years and no more than 10 years upon her release.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to show that on March 17, 2016, Morales was under the influence of alcohol and a controlled substance (Klonopin) while driving on Huntington Avenue at a high rate of speed when she lost control of her vehicle and struck Miguelina D. Perez as she was walking nearby. Perez was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash was investigated by Lieutenant John Ryan of the Providence Police Department Traffic Division with assistance from Sergeant Jeffrey P. L'Heureux of the Rhode Island State Police Collision Reconstruction Unit.
Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday, November 29, 2018 in Providence County Superior Court.