Details emerged regarding the , and the subsequent vehicular homicide and lying charges against Robert Sitler at a preliminary hearing infront of District Justice Edward C. Kropp’s on Jan. 11, according to the Mercury.
Sitler, of Perkiomen Township, is accused of killing Pottsgrove High School student Paciello as he was crossing East High Street on Nov. 12, and then orchestrating a lie that his girlfriend, Denise Dinnocenti, was the driver and coercing her children, 11-and 13-year-old-sons, to lie to the police as well.
Dinnocenti allegedly agreed to state she was driving because Sitler pled guilty to manslaughter in 2006 when he caused a head-on collision with a 67-year-old woman in Alabama.
Several witnesses were called in the preliminary hearing.
The first witness claimed that Sitler, 43, was tailgating her for roughly one mile before veering around her right-turning vehicle and allegedly striking Paciello in the left turn lane.
Lower Pottsgrove Police Officer Matthew Mitzler, the first officer on the scene, said that he found Paciello leaning against a curb with a weak pulse – he was bleeding from his nose, mouth and ear.
The third witness, Montgomery County Detective David Schanes, led the crash investigation and reconstruction.
Schanes reported that Paciello traveled 182 feet, and the truck was traveling roughly 50 miles per hour at the time of impact – 15 mph over the posted speed limit.
He told the court that Sitler admitted to having “a few” alcoholic beverages on the scene.
Sitler’s attorney Thomas Carcluccio attempted to have most of the criminal charges thrown out, stating that the crash was more of an “accident” than “criminal”
Kropp kept all charges against Sitler, whose bail was kept at $1 million cash.
Dinnocenti is faced with insurance fraud, corruption of minors, false reports, tampering with evidence and other charges. Her bail is $100,000 cash.
For more information on this hearing, visit Frank Otto’s story in The Mercury.