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Philadelphia Woman Sentenced In Hit-Run Death Of Plymouth-Whitemarsh Student

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (CBS) – A 20-year-old Philadelphia woman will spend at least one year behind bars in connection with a deadly hit-and-run crash that killed a student on a rainy Sunday night outside Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School last year.

The Montgomery County judge sentenced Stephanie Phillips to 1-5 years in jail.  One year is the mandatory minimum for the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident involving death.

Phillips, who was driving with a suspended license that night, struck and killed 17-year-old Denise Cotteta, who had run into Germantown Pike during a celebration for the school’s basketball team, which had just won the state championship (see previous story).

The victim’s father, Joe Cotteta, says the family has been able to forgive Phillips.

“Denise, she was a wonderful girl.  She was always out there trying to help people, and I never realized how much she helped people until after her death,” he told KYW Newsradio.

Now the family is trying to help others. They will hold a car wash at the high school on Sunday, with the proceeds going to the senior class trip fund and a scholarship fund named in memory of Denise Cotteta.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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One Comment

  1. JamieLee Dominique says:

    you run someone over kill them drive away and you only have to give 365 days of your life for the crime…disgusting

  2. The Investigator says:

    1lorna….In case you do not know the law in PA. Driving on a suspended license means you do not drive. If she wasn’t out driving, then quite possibly, the accident may not have occured. The only apology necessary is the driver to the family of the victim.

  3. rocky says:

    one year is a disgrace, how can that judge sleep at night. This person drove on a suspend license and took a life and you give one year. Left a person hurt fleed the scence of the crime and gets one year.

  4. dmanonit says:

    and iguess thats why people of your persuation only get probation barbara

  5. Barbara S. says:

    Only one year for murder on a suspended license???? I guess that’s why there are repeat criminals.

    1. 1lorna says:

      I lost a son to a motorcycle accident so i understand both sides. I didnt care how many years the person got because at the end of the day he is going to jail alive and my son is dead. i did read where it said denise ran out into the street. that means to me denise caused the accident. suspended license or not the driver was not at fault. the family should say sorry to the driver because their daughter ran out into the street which caused the accident.

      1. JamieLee Dominique says:


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