A Long Island woman whose defense in a drunken-driving case highlighted errors in the Nassau County crime lab was sentenced yesterday after an appellate court struck down her post-conviction challenge. Nassau County Court Judge George Peck (See Profile) sentenced Erin Marino to time served, five years of probation and a one-year revocation of her driver’s license following a reinstated guilty verdict for charges including first-degree vehicular assault.
Following a bench trial, Marino was convicted for a June 2009 accident. While waiting to make bail in the case, she spent 20 days in jail. But as Marino awaited sentencing, Peck in 2011 granted a motion for a retrial, citing revelations of “testing misfeasance” at the lab, which was closed down a month earlier by county authorities (NYLJ, March 8, 2011). Peck’s ruling was considered the first to examine the legal consequences of the lab’s problems.
But the Appellate Division, Second Department, unanimously reversed Peck and reinstated the guilty verdict, saying Marino failed to show the newly discovered evidence of lab missteps would have made for a different outcome at retrial (NYLJ, Oct. 4, 2012).
Marino’s attorney, Brian Griffin of Foley Griffin in Garden City, said his client opted against seeking leave to appeal as his client “was anxious to try to move on with her life.”
Maureen McCormick, the vehicular crimes bureau chief in the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, called the sentence “inappropriately lenient.” She said in a statement that Marino’s “alcoholism is a disease, but it cannot excuse the fact that she…risked every life on that road when she took the wheel with a [blood alcohol level] three times the legal limit.”