Man pleads guilty to auto manslaughter

He was driving drunk in crash that killed woman

April 14, 1999|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

Robert L. Serio, executive vice president of Frank A. Serio & Sons baking goods company, pleaded guilty yesterday to drunken driving and automobile manslaughter charges, six months after a Timonium woman died when she was thrown from Serio's Porsche convertible in a crash on York Road near Sparks.

Serio, 44, admitted walking from his burning car Oct. 8 without telling police or firefighters that he had a passenger when the car crashed at 85 mph.

When the body of Stacy L. Corbin was found in a nearby stream bed, Serio lied to police and later to nurses at Sinai Hospital, telling them that Corbin had been driving the car, he admitted yesterday.

Serio agreed to plead guilty to automobile manslaughter and driving while intoxicated in exchange for the state dropping nine related charges.

Assistant State's Attorney Andy Alperstein said Serio could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for June 2.

Serio said little yesterday in court, other than admitting to the statement of facts, read by Alperstein to Baltimore County Circuit Judge J. William Hinkel. Serio and his lawyer, William N. Butler, declined to comment after the brief hearing.

Relatives of Corbin, a 27-year-old bartender, also declined to comment.

Serio remained free on $50,000 bail. Since his indictment in the fall, he has received permission from the court to leave the state to attend meetings in Mexico, Canada, Australia, Hawaii and Florida.

His Jessup company, with 165 employees and annual projected sales of $125 million, sells bakery ingredients along the East Coast. It is being acquired by a Dutch conglomerate.

According to Alperstein, the night of the accident, Serio and his girlfriend had been drinking at a bar called Kaos in the Baynesville area of Baltimore County when they met Corbin and another woman.

The four went to Serio's home in the Loveton Farms area of Sparks, where Corbin asked for a ride in his Porsche 911.

Serio drove south on York Road, south of Quaker Bottom Road, at speeds of at least 85 mph in a 45 mph zone, Alperstein said.

When the Porsche drove out of control, it became airborne twice, hit a guardrail and "flipped end over end for 360 degrees and finally came to a rest right side up," the prosecutor said.

After the accident, one witness noticed Serio looking inside the Porsche. When the witness asked Serio if anyone else was in the car, Serio said "no," according to Alperstein.

A test of Serio's blood showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, well above the legal limit.

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