Press Releases


Hamden Woman Sentenced on Manslaughter, Evading Responsibility Charges


(Milford, CT) — Margaret E. Kelley, Ansonia/Milford State’s Attorney, announced today that Nicole Labonte, age 37, of Hamden, was sentenced on January 25, 2023 by the Honorable Peter L. Brown to 66 months of imprisonment for the vehicular manslaughter and death of Elizabeth DiMaggio, age 35, of Norwich.

Labonte was arrested in March 2019 following a detailed investigation by the West Haven Police Department. Officer Antonio Dias and other members of the West Haven Police Major Accident Squad determined that Labonte had struck the victim as she attempted to cross Elm Street in West Haven on the night of November 9, 2018. Labonte would later confess to driving under the influence at that time, and cellphone records would detail that she was actively engaged in a phone call, as well. After striking the victim with her car, Labonte did not stop, despite later telling officers that she knew that she had struck someone. The victim was trapped underneath Labonte’s motor vehicle as Labonte continued driving, dragging the victim approximately one-half mile before ultimately stopping. The victim was extricated from beneath Labonte’s motor vehicle and declared dead shortly thereafter. The Chief Medical Examiner’s autopsy report concluded that she had died not from the initial impact of the car, but rather from the traumatic asphyxiation caused by her extended dragging beneath it.

Labonte entered guilty pleas to one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree with a Motor Vehicle in violation of Connecticut General Statute § 53-56b and one count of Evading Responsibility involving Death in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 14-224(a).

At the sentencing hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Lawrence Scharpf, who prosecuted the case, read a statement from the mother of the victim as she sat beside him at the counsel table. She expressed her satisfaction and gratitude to the State for prosecuting the case to its conclusion. After hearing from all parties, Judge Brown then sentenced Labonte to a total effective sentence of 12 years suspended after 66 months to serve, followed by five years of probation.

“I would like to commend Assistant State’s Attorney Scharpf for his dedication to successfully prosecuting this very complex case,” State’s Attorney Kelley said. “After a series of delays, in part due to the pandemic, Assistant State’s Attorney Scharpf took on this prosecution, working through obstacles up through sentencing, to producing impactful arguments before the Court in an effort to achieve justice and some measure of peace for the loved ones of Ms. DiMaggio.” 

State’s Attorney Kelley also expressed her gratitude to Inspector Patrick J. Dooling III for his assistance throughout the prosecution.