BUFFALO, NY-- A former bar co-owner suspected in a fatal hit and run in the Town of Evans for more than two years has now been formally charged in connection with the death of Barry Moss.
Gabriele Ballowe, 50, is charged with vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting resulting in death and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting resulting in serious physical injury. If convicted she faces up to 15-years in prison.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Finnerty called Ballowe "callous" in court. He said Ballowe told police when they arrested her Tuesday morning, "This is going to be an inconvenience, I have things to do today." She appeared in court in handcuffs, wearing a pink hoodie, shorts and flip-flops.
Barry Moss was walking or pedaling his bike on Route 5 in Angola on December 22, 2013 when Evans Police say they believe a gray Ford Explorer registered to Gabriele Ballowe hit him.
The prosecutor in the case says witnesses came forward with new information on the case. They would not say what the new evidence is, but a co-defendant was also arraigned. Lynne Laettner, 55, was charged with perjury. Her bail was set at $10,000. Prosecutors say Laettner committed perjury by providing false testimony in front of an Erie County Grand Jury regarding the death of Barry Moss.
Ballowe was arraigned in court. She pleaded not guilty to all charges. A judge granted bail at $50,000. She posted bail Tuesday night.
"It did come as a surprise to her. We understood there was an investigation going. We did not obviously know the pace of it because it is a secret proceeding. It came as a surprise that it was today. Let me put it that way," said Ballowe's attorney, Tom Eoannou
This case went to a grand jury two years ago when Frank Sedita was the District Attorney, and the grand jury voted not to indict Ballowe.
In January of this year, acting D.A. Michael Flaherty decided to review the case.
"He made what he truly believed to be the proper decision. I decided to take a second look at that," said Flaherty.
"It's a great thing for the family. That's the most important thing. The family's going to get some peace of mind," said Evans Police Chief Ernie Masullo. "You never give up. If you know in your heart that you have a good case as a law enforcement officer, you're going to continue to fight."
The Moss family was in court and declined to speak with us on camera. In a statement the family told us, "We are very grateful to the Evans Police, State Police, FBI and the DA's office."