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Branford Resident Enters No Contest Plea Agreement in DUI Crash that Killed Wife

32 year old Vincent Mauro of Branford, who crashed a Mercedes last year, has entered a no contest plea to second degree manslaughter with a motor vehicle. The deadly crash resulted in the death of Mauro’s wife, Megan McAuliffe, 29, who was a passenger.

The August 18th, 2013 accident took place on Brushy Plain Road in Branford. Police investigations revealed that Mauro travelled south bound down Bushy Plain Road at high speed when he lost control of his vehicle and ran off the right side of the road and struck a large tree. The impact was enough to cause fatal injuries that resulted in McAuliffe’s death.

She was pulled from the burning vehicle by two police officers and rushed to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where she died shortly afterward. Mauro’s blood alcohol content was found to be double the legal limit under Connecticut’s DUI law, at 0.181 percent. McMauro will appear in Superior Court in New Haven and will be sentenced at a later date.

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Faces Civil Lawsuit

Megan’s mother, Jean McAuliffe, has filed a civil lawsuit in October against Vincent Mauro, the driver of the Mercedes at the time of the crash, and his mother, Lisa Mauro. Mauro’s DUI attorney from New Haven said her client entered a plea agreement in which he is likely to get a one year prison term with the right to contest for less time during the sentencing.

This will be followed by three years’ probation with an additional five years imprisonment if Mauro violated conditions of probation. According to the DUI attorney, the McAuliffe family was not aware of Mauro’s no contest plea and sought a hearing with Judge Maureen Keegan to raise an objection to the terms of the agreement.

Mauro’s DUI Attorney Clears Her Client’s Position

Mauro’s DUI lawyer said her client was devastated since he had a loving relationship with his wife and is facing prison time not for murder but for an accident. According to the attorney, Mauro chose a plea deal in order to avoid putting both families through a trial. If the case went to trial, the attorney said she would have argued about the road conditions since it was being milled without any alert for motorists. The hearing on Monday is likely to be attended by the McAuliffe family and representatives of the East Haven-based Mothers Against Drunk Driving in support of the victim’s family.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The wrongful death lawsuit states that Vincent Mauro operated the vehicle at excessive speeds while intoxicated and lost control of the vehicle. The lawsuit claims she was negligent and alleges that Megan McAuliffe suffered severe pain before her death. Claims have been made for expenses incurred for emergency medical care, the funeral and burial, and other damages.

The lawsuit also claims that Lisa Mauro was negligent for allowing her son to drive a vehicle registered and insured under her name. The plaintiffs have also alleged in the lawsuit that Lisa Mauro had on several occasions witnessed her son’s drunken and disorderly behavior prior to operating a motor vehicle.