Shelton woman cleared of manslaughter, still faces jail

A Shelton woman accused of manslaughter in the deaths of two of her children was cleared Friday on all but one count, but still faces

SHELTON - A Shelton woman accused of manslaughter in the deaths of two of her children was cleared Friday on all but one count, but still faces up to 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors had said that Marsha Pitera was under the influence when she crashed her SUV in Stratford on July 4, 2007. A third child in the car was injured in the crash.

Pitera?s defense attorneys argued the blood tests to determine Pitera?s drunkenness were not done properly and could not be used in the trial. The strength of that argument was enough to convince the jury.

?We weren?t convinced that it was reliable exactly,? said juror Jonathan Castillo. ?Since most of the counts were dependent on that, we couldn?t come [up] with a guilty verdict.?

She was found guilty on one count of risk of injury to a child since her 6-year-old daughter was not in a car seat at the time of the accident. The child was killed in the accident.

The decision comes with mixed emotions for Pitera?s family.

?I love my daughter and I?m very happy for her ? she got her life back,? said her father Patrick Matto. ?It?s kind of bittersweet. We don?t have our grandchildren.?

Sentencing is set for April 24.

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