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In Fall River court, woman found not guilty due to lack of criminal responsibility in fatal crash

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A woman, who had been held without bail concerning a crash that killed two people, has been deemed not guilty by a judge for lack of criminal responsibility in Fall River Superior Court.

In May of 2019, Easton Police responded to the intersection of Route 138 and Purchase Street for a two-car motor vehicle crash.

According to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office, an investigation revealed that a Dodge Journey being operated by Sheri Vazquez, now 35, of Easton, was traveling at a high rate of speed on Route 138 when her vehicle collided with a Hyundai Elantra that was attempting to turn onto Purchase Street.

The second vehicle’s two occupants, John Masefield, 79, and Virginia Masefield, 77, both died as a result of the collision. The married couple were from East Bridgewater.

Virginia was retired and graduated from Brockton High School. John was a cook in Norton.

After the collision, Vazquez, who was the sole occupant of the Dodge Journey, exited her vehicle and ran from the scene. She was arrested a short time later just over the town line in West Bridgewater.

The defendant was facing two counts of manslaughter, two counts of motor vehicle homicide by reckless operation, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.

After previously being deemed incompetent to stand trial, in early 2020, Vazquez was re-examined and deemed competent.

According to The Enterprise, today a judge determined that she was not criminally responsible.

Throughout the trial, Vazquez’s sanity at the time of the crash, and present day, was brought into question.

Melissa Henry, who evaluated Vazquez, said that Vazquez lacked criminal responsibility due to the defendant’s mental state. Henry stated that Vazquez was suffering from hallucinations, schizophrenia, and other disorders.

Witnesses and officers stated that Vazquez was driving 89 miles per hour when the crash took place and then ran from the scene screaming that her son needed to be saved from being raped.

After the ruling, Vazquez was committed for up to 40 days to the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital. She was facing up to 20 years in prison.

Vazquez is due back in court on June 30 and could be committed for 6 months. If so, a judge will review her mental condition at least once a year.

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