Newport mother charged with running woman over

NEWPORT, Vt. (WCAX) A Newport mother of four faces an attempted second-degree murder charge after allegedly running over another woman with her van. Our Adam Sullivan was in court for Tuesday's arraignment and has more from Newport.

Police say the incident happened at the Waterfront Plaza Monday night after the victim allegedly confronted a Newport mom for leaving her kids alone in a vehicle.

"The car alarm was going off. The children appeared to be in distress," Orleans County State's Attorney Jennifer Barrett said.

Monica Donofrio, 32, held one of her four children in her arms Tuesday as she faced a judge, accused of grossly negligent operation and attempted murder. Police say Donofrio ran over Emily West, 35, after West and another woman attempted to call the police on Donofrio in the parking lot of the shopping plaza.

"Ms. West told Ms. Donofrio that she was going to call the police and asked her to remain where she was and she stood in front of her car," Barrett said. "The third party witness said that [Donofrio] sped up the car and ran her over with both the front and back tires."

West was last listed in stable condition with serious injuries to her pelvis and back.

West's mother, Tina Garand, told WCAX News in a statement, "Emily is in an immense amount of pain. She is traumatized and doesn't understand why the woman had to run her over. A mother should never have to see their child in so much pain."

Donofrio moved to Vermont in January. As she left court Tuesday, released into her father's custody, she told us a different story. She said West was aggressive and confrontational.

"I was just trying to keep me and my family safe from someone who was potentially threatening. I was very scared. I love my family and I am very sorry to anyone who was hurt," Donofrio said.

Donofrio pleaded not guilty to the two charges. If convicted, she faces the possibility of life behind bars.