Stephen Divito pleaded not guilty. He's charged with Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Vehicular Manslaughter, Assault, Vehicular Assault, Leaving the Scene of an Accident, DWI and Reckless Driving.
Prosecutor Ray Benitez says Divito was drunk when he crashed into a car on the Lake Ontario State Parkway on November 5th, 2011. Jim DePinto, 61, and his wife Pat Trabold DePinto, 57, were killed in that crash.
Benitez said information downloaded from the both cars' black boxes indicate Divito was driving 85 miles per hour when he crashed.
Deputies said Divito left the scene after the accident, only to crash into a tree a short time later on Huffer Road. The passenger in his car, Victor Burke, was seriously injured.
According to police reports filed in court, deputies say Divito at the time of the second crash, was pinned in the car. He told the deputies that he was coming from an event in Hamlin where people race snowmobiles on grass called the "grass drags." The deputy who took that report said Divito told him he was involved in a previous accident on the Parkway and that he couldn't avoid hitting a car that had pulled out in front of him.
The deputy writes that Divito was slurring, his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, and that he smelled of alcohol. Benitez says Divito's blood alcohol level was .15.
While arguing to increase Divito's bail Tuesday, the prosecution called Divito a public risk, citing a prior case of DWI in 1993, a DWAI case in 2000 and a Boating While Intoxicated charge from Jefferson County that happened only a few months before the crash.
"I don't believe the arraigning judge had that information at the time he set bail," explained Benitez. "I thought it was new information this court should be aware of and at least consider in resetting the bail amount."
Benitez also says Divito was well aware of the crash he'd been in involving the DiPintos and made a conscious effort to leave the scene. Benitez says Divito can be heard on his car's OnStar recordings talking to his passenger, who urged him to slow down.
Some family friends said it was difficult to hear some of what came out in court Tuesday.
"I had heard rumors before, but I didn't know they were facts," said family friend Margie Armstrong.
Judge Joanne Winslow decided to keep the bail at what it was originally set at saying in determining bail she can only consider whether or not Divito would come back to court, which his attorney argued he would.
"My client was distraught about this," said defense attorney Ed Fiandach. "There are facts and circumstances concerning this accident that are going to come out at trial. And I think at trial we're going see a decidedly different picture than Mr. Benitez put forth today."
When asked if he believed his client had a drinking problem, Fiandach said, "I don't know that. I know of no issues regarding alcohol."
Divito is due back in court in July.