- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A Pomfret woman who admitted to striking and killing a motorcyclist while she was driving drunk in 2011 will appear in court at the end of the month for violating the terms of her probation.
Stephanie Ann Orbits, now 42, was attempting a U-turn onto the southbound side of U.S. 301 at the Demarr Road intersection in August 2011 when she failed to yield the right of way to Philip Lyle Woodford Jr., a 52-year-old father of three. Officers pronounced Woodford dead at the scene of the crash, and Orbits was found to have a 0.15 blood-alcohol level, well above the legal limit.
Circuit Judge Robert C. Nalley sentenced Orbits to a three-year term in 2012, after she pleaded guilty to negligent vehicular manslaughter. She was released from Jessup Correctional Institute on probation Dec. 17, 2013, according to court records.
The terms of her release stipulated that she was not to enter Martini’s Lounge, the White Plains bar where she had been drinking on the night of the crash, or any other location where alcohol is served and was forbidden to be in the vicinity of alcohol, according to a petition for the revocation of Orbits’ probation filed by Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Francis J. Granados. Orbits also was ordered to seek alcohol treatment and could not drink. On New Year’s Eve, court records state, Orbits was seen drinking at Martini’s. A month later on Jan. 31, Maryland State Police officers observed Orbits inside of Martini’s, where she was working the door, according to court records. Orbits admitted to an officer several days later that since her release, she had been frequently going to Martini’s and Bobby Rucci’s Famous Italian Deli & Doughboys, another venue where alcohol is served, the court documents state.
The original case gained some notoriety after Charles County commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D) and Commissioner Bobby Rucci (D) wrote letters to the court in support of Orbits. Both are personally acquainted with Orbits. Kelly’s letter, written on commissioner letterhead, asked the court for leniency where Rucci’s letter testified to her character.
Orbits was taken into custody at the Charles County jail last month, and according to court records posted $50,000 bail Feb. 10. Orbits will appear before Circuit Judge Amy Bragunier on March 28.