UMass Dartmouth Student Charged With Homicide
DARTMOUTH (WBSM) — A University of Massachusetts Dartmouth student is facing charges in the April 6, 2023 death of fellow student Frank Anthony Petillo, Jr., 19, of Manahawkin, New Jersey.
Petillo was hit by a car while walking along Ring Road on campus, steps from the Balsam Dormitory where he lived.
Following a hearing, a Bristol County court magistrate determined there was sufficient evidence to criminally charge Danasia Sampson, 23, of Mattapan with motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation.
Sampson, who was driving a gray Honda Accord, did remain on the scene.
Gregg Miliote, Director of Communications for Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, told WBSM Friday that Sampson "will be arraigned in New Bedford District Court on November 7, 2023."
It was reported that Sampson would likely be charged as early as a few days after the incident.
After the investigation concluded last month, a trooper assigned to the D.A.’s Office filed a criminal citation against Sampson.
“Due to the nature of the alleged crime, the defendant had a right to a clerk magistrate hearing at New Bedford District Court before an official criminal charge could be issued,” the D.A.’s Office said. “That hearing was held yesterday, at which point the clerk magistrate determined probable cause did exist to formally charge the defendant.”
In the wake of Petillo's death, students called for more safety measures on campus. Portable speed bumps and speed-detecting signs, as well as more patrol cars to monitor speed, were added in the days following the fatal incident.
Longer-term plans included permanent speed-detecting signs and speed tables, raised crosswalks with flashing lights, and a secure pedestrian walkway between Oak Glen and the Woodland apartments.
We will update this story with more information when it becomes available.
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Gallery Credit: Ariel Dorsey