Italian gets 3 years in US jogger hit-and-run case

Apr 19, 2012, 2:32 PM

Associated Press

ROME (AP) – A court has sentenced an Italian man to more than three years in prison for the hit-and-run death of an American woman, killed last year as she jogged along a Tuscan highway.

The body of Allison Owens, a 23-year-old tour guide from Columbus, Ohio, was found in a canal days after she was hit Oct. 2 near San Giovanni Valdarno, between Florence and Arezzo.

Pietro Stefanoni, 53, was convicted Wednesday of manslaughter and leaving the scene of the crime, and given the 38-month sentence by the Arezzo court, said attorney Valentino Durante, who is representing Owens’ family in the civil portion of the trial.

Stefanoni’s lawyer Francesco Maresca said Thursday the sentence was excessive given that Stefanoni said he didn’t initially know he had hit Owens. He plans to appeal.

Maresca has said Stefanoni fell asleep at the wheel after taking part in a long cycling race earlier in the day and didn’t think he had hit anything other than the guardrail. Stefanoni returned to the scene later to make sure but saw nothing, and only realized he might have been responsible days later after news was broadcast that Owens’ body had been discovered.

He turned himself into police on Oct. 7, after he had his car repaired.

Owens’ mother, Cindy Gant Owens, and her brother Kyle had attended the opening hearing. The mother was in court Wednesday for the verdict, breaking into tears afterward.

Stefanoni had requested a fast-track trial, which can limit sentencing, but in this case Judge Giampiero Borraccia went beyond prosecutors’ requests for a three-year sentence. Borraccia must provide a written explanation for the sentence within 60 days.

Stefanoni also was ordered to pay a provisional (EURO)300,000 ($392,580) to Owens’ family pending the resolution of the civil portion of the case.

In a statement, Durante said the sentence was unusually stiff for Italy, and that it appeared to take into account his requests for a harsh sentence given Stefanoni’s conduct in the days after Owens was killed.

He said the Owens family plans to donate any eventual civil damages from the case to an as-yet undetermined group that works to promote highway safety.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

(Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for BoF VOICES)...
Associated Press

Vivienne Westwood, influential fashion maverick, dies at 81

Vivienne Westwood, an influential fashion maverick who played a key role in the punk movement, died Thursday at 81.
1 month ago
FILE - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during his first Cabinet meeting flanked by his ...
Associated Press

Rishi Sunak: UK’s ex-Treasury chief gets his shot at PM job

LONDON (AP) — Rishi Sunak ran for Britain’s top job and lost. Then he got another shot — and the chance to say “I told you so.” The former U.K. Treasury chief was runner-up to Liz Truss in the contest to replace the scandal-plagued Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and prime minister. But Truss […]
3 months ago
Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss addresses the media in Downing Street in London, Thursday, Oct. ...
Associated Press

Truss quits, but UK’s political and economic turmoil persist

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Liz Truss quit Thursday after a tumultuous and historically brief term marred by economic policies that roiled financial markets and a rebellion in her political party that obliterated her authority. After just 45 days in office, Truss became the third Conservative prime minister to be toppled in as many […]
3 months ago
People receive medical treatment at the scene of Russian shelling, in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, Oct. 1...
Associated Press

Russia unleashes biggest attacks in Ukraine in months

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russia retaliated Monday for an attack on a critical bridge by unleashing its most widespread strikes against Ukraine in months, a lethal barrage that smashed civilian targets, knocked out power and water, shattered buildings and killed at least 14 people. Ukraine’s Emergency Service said nearly 100 people were wounded in the […]
4 months ago
This illustration made available by Johns Hopkins APL and NASA depicts NASA's DART probe, upper rig...
Associated Press

NASA spacecraft smashes into asteroid for defense test

A NASA spacecraft rammed an asteroid at blistering speed Monday in an unprecedented dress rehearsal for the day a killer rock menaces Earth.
4 months ago
Associated Press

At least 9 killed as Iran protests over woman’s death spread

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Clashes between Iranian security forces and protesters angry over the death of a 22-year-old woman in police custody have killed at least nine people since the violence erupted over the weekend, according to a tally Thursday by The Associated Press. The scope of Iran’s ongoing unrest, the worst in […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Italian gets 3 years in US jogger hit-and-run case