For Immediate Release - March 23, 2010

Saugus Teen Pleads Guilty To Motor Vehicle Homicide

Jonathan Caruso, 19, of Saugus, pleaded guilty today in Lynn District Court to motor vehicle homicide, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and being a minor transporting alcohol.

Judge Michael Lauranzano sentenced Caruso to the maximum term of 2 ½ years in the House of Correction, six months to be served, the balance suspended for four years with probation. He imposed a six month concurrent sentence on the charge of being a minor transporting alcohol. By statute, Caruso also lost his license for 15 years.

On the charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a motor vehicle), the judge placed Caruso on probation for four years upon his release from jail. As conditions of his probation, Judge Lauranzano ordered Caruso not to drink alcohol, subjected him to random alcohol screens, and imposed 100 hours of community service. In addition, Caruso must attend and complete the Brains at Risk Program, and spend 10 hours addressing middle and high school students about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Essex Assistant District Attorney Michael Patten told the court that if the case had gone to trial, the Commonwealth would have proven that at about 7:30 on the morning of Saturday, May 16, 2009, Caruso was operating a motor vehicle which struck two pedestrians who were walking their dog at the corner of Essex and Grove Streets in Saugus.

Carol Marean, 67, of Saugus, died at the scene of the crash. Her daughter, Charlotte Marean, 42, also of Saugus, suffered serious injuries. Caruso had taken part the previous evening and that morning in the Saugus High School prom activities, first at the Danversport Yacht Club, and later aboard the Spirit of Boston cruise ship.

An earlier charge of operating under the influence of alcohol was not prosecuted because a breathalyzer indicated Caruso's blood alcohol level was .02. Any defendant with a breathalyzer reading of .05 or below is presumed not to be under the influence of alcohol, according to the law.

Caruso was represented by Attorneys James McCall and Patrick Troy.