Defense Awaits Discovery in Route 15 Vehicular Manslaughter Case

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SUPERIOR COURT — The defense attorney for Teresa Verbout — the Sparta woman accused of causing the motor vehicle accident that took the life of a Mount Olive man on Route 15 in Sparta in December 2015 — is awaiting further reports before the case moves forward, he said on Monday.

Daniel Colfax said he was awaiting “expert” reports including medical reports and a report from an expert regarding toxicology.

Verbout, 51, was indicted by a Sussex County Grand Jury in May 2016 on charges of first-degree aggravated manslaughter and second-degree vehicular homicide. She pleaded not guilty to the charges in June.

She is accused of causing the death of Robert Hunter III by driving her 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee in excess of 70 miles per hour in the wrong/opposite direction on southbound Route 15 and hitting Hunter’s Toyota Corolla head on at about 11:06 p.m. Dec. 8, 2015.

Hunter was pronounced dead at the scene.

Verbout, who suffered serious injuries to her lower extremities, was flown to Morristown Medical Center.

The prosecutor’s office has previously said that Verbout’s blood alcohol level was more than .20, more than twice the illegal limit of .08.

A plea offer of 15 years in New Jersey state prison in exchange for a guilty plea to first-degree aggravated manslaughter has been offered to Verbout, Judge William J. McGovern previously said.

The deal would also call for Verbout to plead guilty to a charge of driving while intoxicated and serve 85 percent of her sentence before being eligible for parole.

Verbout, who is being held in the Sussex County jail in lieu of $400,000 bail with no 10 percent option, will return to court on May 15.

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