Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Yanks fan charged in car death felt threatened by Red Sox fans
NASHUA, N.H. -- A woman charged with murder in a fatal crash that followed an argument over the Yankees and Red Sox told police she was trying to scare off people who were hitting her car and jumping on it, a detective said in court Wednesday.
A judge decided Wednesday that the case against Ivonne Hernandez on charges of second-degree murder, reckless conduct and drunken driving can proceed to state superior court. A grand jury will now hear evidence and rule on possible indictments.
Police say Hernandez, 43, told them she had had four beers before encountering a group leaving a Nashua bar near the one she had just left early May 2.
It's not clear what started the parking lot dispute; the sequence of events also is not entirely clear. Hernandez told police someone struck her from behind as she tried to get into her car; Detective James Testaverde testified on Wednesday that Hernandez punched one of the women in the group.
At one point, it turned into an exchange about the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, Testaverde testified during the preliminary hearing.
Hernandez had a Yankees sticker on her rear windshield. Like the rest of New Hampshire, Nashua, 45 miles northwest of Boston, is Red Sox country.
Police reported Hernandez said four people were taunting her and saying "Yankees suck" after spotting the sticker.
Testaverde said Hernandez drove away from the group, then turned around and headed directly toward them. Matthew Beaudoin, 29, of Nashua, was killed and a woman suffered minor injuries.
"There were no brake marks and there was no abrupt turning," said Testaverde, who had taken Hernandez's statement later on May 2. Prosecutor Susan Morrell said Hernandez was traveling at 30 mph.
Testaverde said Hernandez told police she was frightened and her intention was to scare them away, and that she said at one point the group started running toward her, hitting her car and jumping on it.
Hernandez was taken to a hospital where she received seven stitches. Her blood-alcohol content was 0.16, double the state's 0.08 limit.
Under questioning from Hernandez's lawyer, James Quay, Testaverde said the group called Hernandez vulgar names. Hernandez of Nashua was in court Wednesday but did not testify or show any emotion.
Hernandez will continue to be held without bail. Quay unsuccessfully argued that the charges be dropped.
Members of Beaudoin's family attended the hearing and declined to speak with reporters.