Prosecutors drop charges against mother in daughter's death in Maryland

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Maryland prosecutors have dismissed a case against a New Kensington woman charged in the August vehicle death of her 11-year-old daughter in Salisbury, Md.

Tabitha Dobrzynski, 38, had been charged with negligent manslaughter because of careless operation of a motor vehicle; marijuana possession; life-threatening injury caused by reckless driving of a motor vehicle and drug consumption, according to Wicomico County, Md., district court records. The charges were dropped this week after blood tests came back negative at state police testing thresholds for two drugs, said Matthew A. Maciarello, state's attorney in Wicomico County.

State police, who said Ms. Dobrzynski showed signs of drug-related impairment, had tested her blood for the presence of two drugs. Mr. Maciarello said the test was not "exhaustive," however, and that there were "a few substances" prosecutors suspect she had consumed before the crash. State police said Ms. Dobrzynski's 11-year-old daughter was killed after being ejected from the vehicle.

Mr. Maciarello said prosecutors and drug recognition experts were "puzzled" by the results and are awaiting results of further blood tests from a private lab.

"In the interest of justice, and also in order to preserve our ability to prosecute Ms. Dobrzynski if the results come back positive, we dismissed the case," Mr. Maciarello said.

Assistant public defender Natalie Whittingham said she and her client would have no comment because prosecutors could file charges again.

neigh_east - neigh_westmoreland

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @borntolede.


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