Cell tower records sought in case of Brittini Benton of Sunderland, charged in fatal April crash in Hadley
NORTHAMPTON — The defense attorney for Brittini Benton, charged in a 2012 car crash that killed a 24-year-old UMass student, is seeking cellphone tower records in connection with the incident.
Benton, 24, of 118 Reservation Road, Sunderland, has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in connection with the April 14 crash that killed UMass engineering student Daniel Haley, who was riding his motorcycle on Route 116 in Hadley.
Benton’s lawyer, Alan Rubin of the Committee for Public Counsel Services in Northampton, said the cell tower records can determine the location of a particular phone at a particular time.
Rubin declined to elaborate on why he was seeking those records.
Hampshire Superior Court Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder allowed the motion to subpoena the records after hearing no objection from Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Jayme Parent, who is prosecuting the case.
Parent and Rubin said the case is tentatively scheduled for trial in April.
Benton did not appear at Thursday’s hearing. In June she pleaded not guilty to charges of manslaughter while operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent motor vehicle homicide while operating under the influence, involuntary manslaughter, operating under the influence with negligence and serious bodily injury, aggravated assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle), operating under the influence of alcohol (second offense) and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
She was released on her own recognizance on the conditions she avoid alcohol and drugs and submit to random screenings and not drive a motor vehicle.
According to court records, Benton was allegedly traveling south in the northbound lane of Route 116 about 2:20 a.m. when she struck a motorcycle driven by Haley, killing him, and collided with a second vehicle driven by a 57-year-old Leyden man, sending him to the hospital with broken bones.
According to investigators, a search of Benton’s vehicle found beer, liquor and marijuana.
According to court records, a blood test taken from Benton the morning of the crash showed her blood alcohol concentration was 0.179 percent, more than twice the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle in Massachusetts, 0.08 percent.
Bob Dunn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.