Northville man pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Derrick H. Carlisle. (Photo courtesy of Fulton County DA's Office)
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Derrick H. Carlisle. (Photo courtesy of Fulton County DA's Office)

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Carlisle admitted to striking and killing Andria Berger with his pickup truck on Route 30 in the town of Northampton in the early hours of Nov. 17, 2019.

“[Carlisle] further admitted to leaving the scene and failing to contact the police,” reads a news release from Fulton County District Attorney Chad Brown. “Ms. Berger was found by a passerby later that morning who contacted the police. As a result of the investigation, the police determined the type of vehicle they were looking for and put an alert out that ultimately resulted in [Carlisle] being located in Point Township, Pennsylvania.”

Carlisle was held in Pennsylvania until he was extradited back to Fulton County on June 16.

“Unfortunately, due to the changes made to the bail laws, the defendant was released at that time,” reads the news release, referencing Carlisle’s June arrest and subsequent extradition.

Carlisle pleaded guilty before Judge Polly Hoye and was promised a sentence of at least 20 months, but no more than five years in state prison.

Carlisle’s guilty plea reduces the amount of time he could have potentially faced had the charge gone to a criminal trial, which was a maximum of 28 months to seven years in state prison, a news release said.

Brown’s narrative of the plea elaborated on some of the extenuating circumstances surrounding the prosecution of the case.

“Some friends and family of Ms. Berger were present in the courtroom for the plea allocution. While any sentence will not be enough to bring back their loved one, they were able to receive some closure,” Brown wrote. “However, the family understood that there is no guarantee of the outcome if the matter went to trial. Also, due to the current restrictions in place on the court system under the COVID-19 guidelines the trial may not have occurred until late 2021, during which time the defendant would have remained out of jail.”

Following the plea, Carlisle was sent to the Fulton County Correctional Facility.

Berger, 46, was a longtime advocate for disability rights. She worked in Amsterdam for the Resource Center for Independent Living.

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