Saratoga County

Saratoga Springs woman sentenced for crash that killed fiance

New York State Police troopers and members of its Bureau of Criminal Investigation are shown at the scene of the accident in Malta on July 14, 2019.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
New York State Police troopers and members of its Bureau of Criminal Investigation are shown at the scene of the accident in Malta on July 14, 2019.

Categories: -The Daily Gazette, News, Saratoga County

BALLSTON SPA — A 47-year-old Saratoga Springs woman was sentenced in Saratoga County Court Friday to 1 1/2 to 4 1/2 years in state prison for causing a July 2019 crash in Malta in which her fiance was killed.

Kelly Leonardi was sentenced by County Judge James A. Murphy III after pleading guilty to second-degree vehicular manslaughter and two counts of third-degree assault in March. She was sentenced to state prison on the manslaughter charge, and one year each on the assault charges — all to be served concurrently.

The charges stemmed from a head-on collision on Route 9 in Malta on July 14, 2019, which caused the death of her fiancé, John Stevens, and also injured Michael DeFile and Mario Gonzalez, who were in the other vehicle.

District Attorney Karen A. Heggen said Leonardi had been using heroin and Xanax at her residence near Saratoga Lake just prior to the crash, which occurred near the Malta Drive-In. She was northbound and was accused of drifting across the median and into the southbound lane, crashing into a pickup truck driven by DeFile.

She left her residence and proceeded northbound on Route 9 near the Malta Drive-In Theater. As Leonardi approached what was to become the crime scene, she drifted out of her lane, crossed over the median and into the southbound lane, as later confirmed by the NYSP accident reconstruction experts and eye witnesses. Traveling south in the northbound lane, she crashed head-on into a pickup truck driven by Michael DeFile, with Mario Gonzalez in the passenger seat. Leonardi’s passenger, Stevens, was killed in the crash and DeFile and Gonzalez suffered injuries.

State police recovered heroin, Xanax, cocaine residue and numerous items of drug paraphernalia from Leonardi’s vehicle, the district attorney’s office said in March.

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