Motion to dismiss Morgan Hill case denied

Sandra Arlia, the motorist who is charged with vehicular

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Monday denied Sandra
Arlia’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges against her.
A jury trial for Arlia, who is charged with vehicular
manslaughter, is now scheduled to begin Nov. 1 at South County
Courthouse in Morgan Hill. Prosecutors from the Santa Clara County
District Attorney’s Office said the trial shouldn’t last more than
five days.
A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge Monday denied Sandra Arlia’s motion to dismiss the criminal charges against her.

A jury trial for Arlia, who is charged with vehicular manslaughter, is now scheduled to begin Nov. 1 at South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill. Prosecutors from the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office said the trial shouldn’t last more than five days.

However, Arlia’s attorney Jaime Leanos said in court Monday that because the defense has so many witnesses to call, the trial could last at least five days.

Arlia, 66 of Morgan Hill, was driving a Cadillac sport-utility vehicle Oct. 23, 2009 when she accidentally hit bicyclist Rory Tomasello, 22, at a crosswalk on West Edmundson Avenue, according to police.

Tomasello, of Morgan Hill, was not wearing a helmet. He was conscious at the scene of the accident, but was disoriented and transported to the hospital with redness on his neck and stomach with complaints of pain. He died as a result of his injuries Nov. 2, 2009.

Arlia was charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in November 2009, and pleaded not guilty in January.

If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

The case has also sparked a number of lawsuits and countersuits outside criminal court, with Tomasellos’ parents suing the defendant. Arlia has filed suit against the city of Morgan Hill, which owns the road and designed the crosswalk, and the Santa Clara Valley Water District, which owns the property on either side of the crosswalk.

Two segments of a paved bike and foot path are connected by the crosswalk.

The city and water district deny all responsible for the accident.

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