BRENTWOOD — A Massachusetts woman will avoid the possibility of prison time after county prosecutors reduced the charge against her after a deadly pedestrian accident in Seabrook last year.
Dawn Marie Barcellona, 58, of Salisbury, is now facing a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated for the crash on Oct. 21, 2018, that killed 51-year-old Andrew Dobson, also of Salisbury.
Deputy County Attorney Jennifer Haggar said the charge carries a $500 fine.
Barcellona was originally indicted by a Rockingham County grand jury in March on alternative counts of negligent homicide for the death. One alleged that she was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled drug or both when she hit Dobson. That charge was a Class A felony that carried the possibility of 7 ½ to 15 years in prison.
Barcellona was indicted on a second Class B negligent homicide charge accusing her of negligently causing Dobson’s death by striking him while she was using or had been using a mobile device and after consuming alcohol. She could have faced 3 ½ to 7 years in prison if convicted on that charge.
Barcellona was expected to plead guilty to the newly reduced DWI charge at a hearing Tuesday morning, but backed out and now wants a judge to decide her fate.
A bench trial is scheduled for Oct. 9.
Because the case is still pending, Haggar declined to comment on why the county attorney’s office decided to reduce the charge, which still alleges that she was driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor, but does not mention Dobson’s death.
According to a Seabrook police affidavit, Barcellona told investigators that Dobson had stepped out in front of her while she was driving on Route 1A.
Barcellona stated that she left work at the Seaglass Restaurant and Lounge in Salisbury around 4 p.m., met some friends at another restaurant, and consumed one White Russian, according to the affidavit. She later admitted that she had two White Russians and had lied to police earlier about the number of drinks because she was “scared.”
Barcellona was driving a Jeep on Route 1A around 8 p.m. when Dobson was hit.
“She advised that the next thing she knew the male stepped out in front of her and he hit her hood,” the affidavit said.