This article was originally published on GoErie.com by Tim Hahn on November 16, 2018
A Millcreek Township woman accused of hitting a man with her vehicle and leaving the accident scene in the township in April 2016 was convicted at trial of the most serious charge filed against her.
An Erie County jury found 28-year-old Saveria M. Russo guilty of a second-degree felony count of accidents involving death or personal injury in the death of 84-year-old Neil Schmalenbach on the early morning of April 16, 2017. The jury also found Russo guilty of a summary count of driving while operating privileges were suspended or revoked.
The jury acquitted Russo of a third-degree felony count of accidents involving death or personal injury while not properly licensed and summary counts of careless driving-unintentional death and failure to stop and give information or render aid.
The jury reached its verdict on Thursday night following a trial that opened on Tuesday afternoon. Erie County Judge Daniel Brabender, who presided over the trial, scheduled Russo’s sentencing for Jan. 29 at 9 a.m. Russo remains free on unsecured bond.
Millcreek police accused Russo of driving a vehicle that was traveling west in the 3200 block of West 38th Street shortly after 2 a.m. on April 16, 2017, when it struck and killed Schmalenbach as he walked west. Investigators said Russo’s vehicle dragged Schmalenbach before the vehicle fled the scene.