Driver in Fatal Cop Crash Arraigned

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The New Castle woman charged with crashing into a police cruiser while fleeing from officers, killing a 60-year-old Shenango Township officer, is being held in the Lawrence County Jail on $250,000 bond.

Kylee Barletto, 26, entered no plea Monday at her preliminary arraignment in front of Magistrate Judge Jerry Cartwright Jr. in Ellwood City.

Barletto, walking into the courthouse, acknowledged she was sorry for the accident, then started crying. She said she didn’t want to talk about the incident.

Barletto is facing charges that include two counts of first-degree felony aggravated assault, second-degree felony manslaughter of a law enforcement officer, third-degree fleeing to elude an officer, third-degree felony causing an accident involving a death and misdemeanor charges of involuntary manslaughter, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault.

She was also charged with driving without a license, her fifth citation for doing so since March 2012. She was also charged with running past four stop signs during the chase, records show.

The charges carry a maximum 71 years in prison.

She is scheduled for a preliminary hearing May 23 in Central Court in New Castle.

The crash killed part-time officer Jerry McCarthy IV. The officer in the driver’s seat of McCarthy’s car, Michael Lynch, 35, suffered serious injuries, police said.

Barletto’s attorney James Ecker previously said she suffered a broken nose, several broken ribs and other injuries.

Barletto told investigators she “did something stupid” and never stopped because she had a suspended license, according to the criminal complaint. She also told investigators something was wrong with her car and was unable to stop.

New Castle police tried to pull Barletto over for erratic driving when she slowed down and then sped away, the criminal complaint says. Several officers chased her. McCarthy and Lynch, working in nearby Shenango Township, drove on a parallel road to try and cut Barletto off and lay down spike strips to stop the chase.

Barletto turned abruptly and struck McCarthy’s side of the cruiser at the intersection of Cascade Street and Warren Avenue in New Castle. The impact pushed the cruiser about 200 feet into another police car.

A friend of Barletto’s said she and Barletto were talking on the phone at the time of the crash. Toxicology results are still being analyzed.

McCarthy was a husband and father of two sons, one daughter, a step son and a step daughter.

He retired after more than 30 years working at Grove City College in Safety Services. McCarthy was hired in 2011 by the Lawrence County District Attorney’s office as a county detective and as a county humane agent and worked as a part-time patrolman for Shenango Township.

He was laid to rest Wednesday in an emotion funeral service and cemetery ceremonies.

A search of Pennsylvania court records shows police cited Barletto for eight driving violations since 2008, including four citations for driving without a license since March 2012.

In 2008, she was cited for driving with headphones on. The next year she was caught driving without financial responsibility and without a valid license. In 2011, she was cited for failing to stop at a stop sign.

Officers in 2012 cited her in March, May and October. She was last cited for driving without a license on April 5.


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