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Westchester Woman Pleads Guilty To DWI Crash That Killed College Student

Emma Fox
Emma Fox Photo Credit: Contributed
Robby Schartner, a student at Manhattanville College.
Robby Schartner, a student at Manhattanville College. Photo Credit: Manhattanville College

A 25-year-old Westchester woman has pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter for driving drunk and killing a 21-year-old Manhattanville College student last year.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. announced on Wednesday that Emma Fox of Rye has pleaded guilty to a felony count of vehicular manslaughter and driving while intoxicated for her role in the death of former college lacrosse player Robert Schartner on Oct. 9 last year in White Plains.

Fox is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 7 next year, when she will face up to seven years in state prison.

Schartner, a native of Brookfield in Fairfield County, was a resident of Fishkill in Dutchess County, and previously lived in Garrison in Putnam County. His mother, Donna Juliette Ann Hall, has previously announced her intention to sue both Fox and The Pub in Rye, where she drank for several hours before getting behind the wheel.

Shortly before 5 a.m. Oct. 9, 2016, Fox was driving her Nissan Sentra on Westchester Avenue in White Plains when she struck and killed Schartner, who was running back to his dorm from downtown White Plains.

After striking Schartner, Fox drove a half-mile before stopping her car in the shoulder near Meadowbrook Road, Scarpino said. A passing motorist noticed damage to Fox’s windshield and called 911.

Responding police officers found Schartner unconscious on Westchester Avenue near the entrance to I-287, with severe trauma to the back of his head, Scarpino said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

White Plains police officers spoke with Fox and detected an odor of alcohol on her breath, police said. She proceeded to fail multiple Standardized Field Sobriety tests and was arrested.

Fox was taken to White Plains Hospital, where tests determined that her blood alcohol content was above .08 percent.

An autopsy by the Westchester County Medical Examiner determined that Schartner died of blunt force trauma of the body with fractures of skull and ribs, lacerations of brain, lungs, liver and internal hemorrhages.

Following his death, Manhattanville College President Michael Geisler notified the students of Schartner's death in a statement.

“In his three years as a men's lacrosse player, Robert earned his spot on the team the hard way. It was not easy for him, but the sacrifices he made inspired the team and epitomized what it means to be a scholar-athlete at Manhattanville," the statement said.

"The level of Robert's commitment to his team could never come into question; whatever he was asked to do, he did with a smile on his face. That was his understanding of what it means to be a true teammate. He loved the sport of lacrosse, he loved his teammates and he loved being a Manhattanville lacrosse player. … We are all in shock and we extend our prayers and condolences to his family members and friends."

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