For Immediate Release - April 25, 2016

Beverly Man Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

A Beverly man pleaded guilty to charges in connection with a motor vehicle crash on Mother’s Day 2015 in Beverly which took the life of his passenger and seriously injured the driver of another vehicle.

Todd Porter, 32, pleaded guilty today in Salem Superior Court to Manslaughter by Motor Vehicle, Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol and Causing Serious Bodily Injury and Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon (motor vehicle).  Judge Thomas Drechsler adopted the jointly recommended sentence of seven to ten years in state prison followed by five years of probation during which he must remain drug and alcohol free, submit to random screens and obtain any treatment deemed necessary.  He will also lose his license for 15 years.

Had the case gone to trial, Essex Assistant District Attorney Ashlee Logan would have introduced evidence that would have proved that on May 10, 2015 Todd Porter was driving a Cadillac SRX that belonged to Christine Dinis, 45, of Peabody and she was in the passenger seat. Witnesses saw Mr. Porter drive through a red traffic light on Elliott Street and accelerate toward a red traffic light at the intersection of Elliott and Rantoul Streets.  As he drove through that intersection he struck a pick-up truck driven by Dennis Moustakis of Salem.  Ms. Dinis was transported to Beverly Hospital and pronounced dead.  Mr. Moustakis suffered from several broken ribs and had to have glass from the broken windshields surgically removed from his body.

Search warrants were obtained for the defendant’s blood and the “black box” of the Cadillac.  Those searches revealed that the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .18, was travelling 66 miles per hour and accelerated to 68 miles per hour as he approached the second traffic light.

Ms. Dinis’ daughter Kayla gave a victim impact statement to the Court before sentence was imposed.

“There are no words to express the senselessness of the defendant’s actions.  He showed an utter disregard for the lives and safety of Ms. Dinis and Mr. Moustakis and everyone else on the road that evening,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.  “As a result of his reckless decision to drive while intoxicated, two daughters lost their mother on Mother’s Day.  No amount of prison time can undo what this defendant has done.”

ADA Logan praised the work of Beverly Police Detective Darlene Prinz for her work on the investigation and Essex Victim Witness Advocate Kathy Draper.

The defendant was represented by Attorney John Morris.

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