TROY, N.Y. -- A Hoosick Falls woman who admitted to leaving the scene after striking and killing a bicyclist back in September was indicted on manslaughter charges Thursday and now faces up to 22 years in jail if convicted.
Becky Goodermote, 37, who is currently free on bail, arrived at Rensselaer County court shortly before noon escorted by her parents for arraignment on a 14-count indictment charging manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, driving while impaired by drugs, and leaving the scene of an accident. The indictment also alleges Goodermote was using her cell phone at the time, although her attorney denied the charge.
Rensselaer County District Attorney Richard McNally, in court for the arraignment, called the case against Goodermote "very compelling."
With the victim’s teary-eyed, pregnant wife looking on, Goodermote stood next to her attorney and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Defense Attorney Michael Jurena requested a continuation of the $10,000 bail, to which County Court Judge Debra Young agreed.
The charges against Goodermote stem from the death of Matthew Rattelle, 40, of Petersburgh. At 8:30 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 3, 2012, Rattelle was cycling along Route 22 when he was struck from behind and thrown 150 feet off the shoulder of the road. Rattelle was taken to Albany Medical Center where he later died from head trauma.
Rattelle was an employee at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, Vt., since 1995, where he worked as a nuclear medical technician. He leaves behind two children, Kylie and Connor, along with his wife, Jennifer, who is pregnant with the couple’s third child.
With Goodermote and her parents at his side, Jurena told reporters after the arraignment his client "didn’t realize she’d hit anyone." Jurena said Goodermote was "devastated and saddened by the death of Mr. Rattelle." He also called the evidence presented to the grand jury "misleading and inaccurate."
McNally said Goodermote’s positive test for Oxycontin, hydrocodone, and Lyrica led to the charges of Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs. He said she also faced various vehicle and traffic charges including the use of a cell phone while driving. "We’re confident we can secure a conviction," McNally said.
Jurena said the blood sample was misleading because it was "taken some six or seven hours after the accident." He said Goodermote had been using "prescribed medication for various health issues." Jurena also vehemently denied charges Goodermote was texting while driving, although McNally said investigators have "compelling evidence" that she was.
Goodermote’s bail conditions mandate she appear twice weekly to county probation and submit to drug testing. Jurena said his client had "no previous criminal history in New York State," but acknowledged a criminal history in Vermont. In 2010, she faced charges in Bennington criminal court related to identity theft and credit card fraud.
The next hearing in the case is set for March 15.
Banner Staff Writer Zeke Wright contributed to this story.