Benassi set for Nov. 6 sentencing

Friday, October 10, 2008
A Fillmore woman will be sentenced Nov. 6 in connection with an Oct. 12 , 2007 car crash that killed her husband.

Under the terms of a plea agreement, Tonya M. Benassi, 35, would plead guilty to one count of Class C felony reckless homicide and one count of Class D felony welfare fraud in an unrelated case.

In exchange for those guilty pleas, charges of Class C felony criminal recklessness and Class B felony aggravated battery will be dismissed.
The agreement stipulates that sentencing for Benassi will be left up to the court. If convicted on both counts, Benassi could be sentenced to up to 11 years in prison.
According to police reports, Benassi and her husband Tracy were driving their mid-1990s Chevrolet Camaro on C.R. 75N (Right-of-Way Road) near Fillmore on Oct. 12, 2007 when the vehicle left the roadway and landed on the railroad tracks below.
Both of the Benassis were airlifted to the hospital following the accident. Tracy died the next day at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Following an investigation, Benassi was arrested in connection with the accident in December.
Putnam County Prosecutor's Investigator Charles Bollinger conducted an interview with one of Tonya Benassi's friends who, according to a probable cause affidavit, was told by Tonya that she and Tracy were arguing at the time of the crash and that Tonya, who was driving, became angry and "floored the vehicle."
Tonya Benassi, according to the probable cause document, told investigators that she was in fact speeding at the time of the crash but that she didn't know how fast she was going.

She blamed Tracy for causing the crash, telling investigators that he told her to slow down and put the car into neutral, causing it to go out of control.

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  • From anyone that knows Tonya, Tracy was an abusive, controlling, drunk who had beat her on many occasions and this poor girl is going to be sentenced for his abuse. This is wrong on so many fronts.

    -- Posted by HelloMcFly on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 3:00 PM
  • The paper states that "he put the car into neutral" - wouldn't he have to take some blame for his 'fate'?

    -- Posted by BGreader on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 3:14 PM
  • This girl has been in the PCJ for almost a year. She's not allowed to see her children, she has no real visitors. She's alone. She has been waiting for a plea, waiting to be sentenced, waiting for someone to care. A year in county jail is a long time. Especially, with little to no help from your court appointed attorneys. I do not believe state prison is the right place for her. She and her children in my thoughts.

    -- Posted by can't_understand on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 3:44 PM
  • Shifting the car into neutral has NOTHING to do with the car going outta control!!!!

    In the case the fact is DEAD MEN TELL NO TALL TALES!

    -- Posted by Buck_Hunter_2008 on Sat, Oct 11, 2008, at 11:26 PM
  • I agree and disagree with hellomcfly. Yes Tracy was abusive (I know from experience in high school) but that doesn't give ANYONE the right to kill him. If he was that bad she should have just made it home and left his a**. That is what I eventually did. Your freedom is just that FREEDOM and NO ONE is worth that or not worth not being able to see, hear, smell, touch, talk to your children over.

    I also agree with funckdaddyfunk: If you do the crime you do the time.

    -- Posted by catlover19732003 on Sun, Oct 12, 2008, at 7:52 AM
  • I agree with several of you about court appointed counsel. That is a joke in Putnam County, been there - done that!!!! They rotate through the system so one day you have a PD and the next day they may be your Prosecutor!!! It does not mention alcohol or drugs involved, so therefore there had to be something going on in the car at the time, LIKE ABUSE maybe. It should be involuntary manslaughter, if anything, time served. Wake up Putnam County and see how citizens that cannot afford an attorney get "screwed". Prosecute the ones that need it like Meth labs, dealers, child abusers, etc. etc. etc. How much has it cost the county to keep her there for a whole year while waiting on "the system".

    -- Posted by Confused citizen on Tue, Oct 14, 2008, at 1:03 PM
  • You must be confused. You have absolutely no idea what your even talking about. Before, I spoke my opinion, I would know the facts.

    -- Posted by treasa74 on Tue, Oct 14, 2008, at 9:42 PM
  • Karma.... that's all I have to say. I hope she just gets time served. Those kids have been through enough.

    -- Posted by MsBehaving on Thu, Oct 16, 2008, at 8:53 AM
  • Only one sentence for this type of situation:

    Someone abuses you, physically or mentally, grow a pair and leave them without looking back!

    I think that about sums it up.

    -- Posted by WTFRUthinkin on Sun, Oct 19, 2008, at 7:24 AM
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