NEW BRITAIN – A Plainville woman accused of driving under the influence when she ran over two other women over the weekend, killing one of them, pleaded not guilty today to charges related to the accident.
Justine Cusick, 35, of 92 West Main St., was arrested Oct. 29 after police said she ran over two women in the driveway of 14 Bradley St., where she had been invited to a house gathering.
Deborah Sheak, 59, died from injuries after being run over. The other victim, a 40-year-old woman, suffered minor injuries, police reports said.
Cusick was charged with second-degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle, misconduct with a motor vehicle, third-degree assault, driving under the influence, unsafe backing and second-degree reckless endangerment. She pleaded not guilty to all the charges today during a brief appearance in the felony court at New Britain Superior Court where the case was transferred.
She previously was convicted of operating under the influence in 2003 as a double first-time offender - meaning prosecutors essentially treated two DUI arrests as one conviction in a plea bargain. She was sentenced in that case to six months in prison, suspended, and 18 months of probation.
Her case was continued to Dec. 21. The estate of Deborah Sheak has hired an attorney, court officials said.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com. Follow Lisa Backus on Twitter @LbackusNBH