Manslaughter plea in crash fatality case

Victim Payne well known for community activities

May 11, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Gambrills woman pleaded guilty to negligent manslaughter yesterday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in connection with a car crash in October that killed an Annapolis woman known for her community activities.

Amy Beth Haberstick, 38, drove her westbound car across the center line of Route 450 near Davidsonville, where it collided head-on with the car driven by Juliet Mae "Judy" Payne, 59, prosecutors said. Shortly after the Oct. 8 accident, Haberstick's blood alcohol level was .16, twice the level of legal impairment, according to prosecutors.

Haberstick, who cried during the brief hearing, suffered serious leg and arm injuries and was using a wheelchair yesterday. She declined to comment, but her lawyer, William C. Brennan, told Judge Ronald A. Silkworth that his client was extremely remorseful.

Payne was a longtime volunteer at Chrysalis House, a residential drug rehabilitation center for women in Crownsville, and she cut her long hair for Locks of Love, the charity that provides hairpieces for sick children.

The road she died on had been adopted for litter cleanups by the Annapolis Harley Owners Group, of which she was a member, her children said yesterday.

Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler said he will ask for an unspecified jail term for Haberstick at her sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 28. The maximum penalty is 10 years.

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