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Written by Vanessa Junkin, Staff Writer
She’s no longer able to spend time doing any of those things, as the young girl was killed in a single-vehicle crash on the Route 13 bypass in Salisbury on Aug. 5, 2012.
Her mother, Tabitha Dobrzynski, 39, of New Kensington, Pa., was driving the Jeep that Sophia Dobrzynski was ejected from that day. On Thursday, Tabitha Dobrzynski was sentenced to three years in prison on a charge of criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle.
Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Kristen Schultz, who read part of Sophia’s obituary in court Thursday, said the incident was tragic, and it resulted from Tabitha Dobrzynski’s choices.
Schultz said Tabitha Dobrzynski chose to take drugs, leave in the middle of the night, use a car that didn’t have enough seat belts for everyone and continue driving for a long period of time.
“It’s a tragedy that was completely of Ms. Dobrzynski’s creation and making,” Schultz said, referring to Tabitha Dobryznski.
Schultz also said she feels that Tabitha Dobrzynski “has shown no consciousness of guilt.”
Deputy District Public Defender Arch McFadden, who represents Tabitha Dobrzynski, asked that she be sentenced to a period of probation. He said Tabitha Dobrzynski’s minor record does not indicate she has a drug problem.
He also said she has lost her daughter.
When Tabitha Dobrzynski took an opportunity to speak in court, she was a little tough to understand as she spoke through tears.
“I’m just trying to get past everything,” she said as she spoke to Wicomico Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Beckstead.
Beckstead she felt there were various chances for Tabitha Dobrzynski to assess the situation and decide not to keep driving. She said she agreed with Schultz that probation would not be an effective option.
Three years is the maximum sentence on the criminally negligent manslaughter by vehicle charge; Beckstead also sentenced her to concurrent six-month sentences on four counts of driving while impaired by drugs while transporting a minor, for her four children who were passengers in the car.
In addition to finding Tabitha Dobrzynski guilty on those counts and an another count of driving while impaired by drugs in a bench trial in December, Beckstead found her not guilty of criminally negligent homicide by automobile.
Maryland State Police Trooper Mark Miller testified at Tabitha Dobrzynski’s December trial that she told him she’d taken two Vicodin at 5:30 a.m., and at 10 a.m., a Prozac, two Soma — a muscle relaxant — and oxycodone, he testified. She didn’t do well on sobriety tests, he said at the trial.
Sophia was the only one not wearing a seat belt, because that seat didn’t have one, Sophia’s brother, Charles Dobrzynski, testified at his mother’s trial.
McFadden said he will appeal the case.