September 21, 2020

Woman Dies After Running Alongside Boyfriend's Moving Car | Cup of Joe

Woman Dies After Running Alongside Boyfriend's Moving Car

Anyone can come up with a random reason to run over their significant other with a car. But, you’re not supposed to actually do it, right?

Last year, Jersey Shore star Ronnie, was hit in the face by his girl, Jen, while the pair were in a car and he demanded she pull over and let him out. Ronnie, then 32, became tangled in the seatbelt while getting out and Jen hit the gas. Ronnie was dragged. Ronnie was hurt. Jen was arrested.

“Yeah, it was an accident ... I got out of the car, she drove off, maybe I think I grabbed onto the door, and I just fell. It was just a bunch of unfortunate events, bro.”


The District Attorney determined that there was insufficient evidence to prove Jen committed the crime of Battery Constituting Domestic Violence. Jen got a pass.

This week’s case, out of Seaford in Nassau County, involves a similar scenario. But here, a girlfriend, (and mother of two), was dragged by her boyfriend; and, tragically, she died. 


  • Robert Savinetti - 57 - a guitarist in Long Island cover band, Copycat; boyfriend of Lisa Micelli (deceased).
  • Lisa Micelli (d.) - 44 - Robert’s girlfriend and mother of two.
  • Stephen - owner of the Cardoon Mediterranean Grill - a witness for the prosecution.


Robert and Lisa were having dinner at the Cardoon Mediterranean Grill, located at 2479 Adler Court, in Seaford. They had an argument and Robert stormed out followed by Lisa. Robert got in his car and took off while Lisa was holding onto the car. Lisa was killed.

This is Robert’s trial.

Prosecution's Opening Statement

People of the Jury, on the night of August 1st, just outside of the Cardoon Mediterranean restaurant in Seaford, Robert treated his girlfriend, Lisa,  the mother of two children, like "road-kill" by running her over with his Toyota RAV4, after dragging her down the street.

You will hear testimony during the course of this trial explaining why Robert dragged Lisa down the street and ending Lisa’s life – he wanted to teach her a lesson…a lesson about the consequences of smoking.

After hearing all the testimony, you will be able to come to only one conclusion: that Robert is GUILTY of Manslaughter and Reckless Endangerment.

Defense's Opening Statement

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Lisa was to blame for her own death after she ran next to the moving RAV4 while drunk and in flip-flops, before tripping and falling beneath the vehicle. I ask you to find Robert, NOT GUILTY.

Robert's Testimony

Q: I want to bring you to back to the evening of August 1st: Were you with Lisa then?

A: Yes. We were at the Cardoon Restaurant, and we were having drinks and dinner.

Q: How many drinks did you have that evening?

A: I would say about four glasses of wine.

Q: And how were the two of you getting along at the restaurant?

A: You know, we were eating, and talking, and at some point it just escalated into a verbal argument.

Q: And what did you do?

A: I had enough, so I got up in the middle of the disagreement and walked out to the restaurant to the parking lot. We continued arguing and I just got into the car.

Q: And what kind of car was that?

A: 2010 Toyota RAV4. It was mine.

Q: What did you do next?

A: I just took off. And a while later, I got a call from Stephen, the owner of the Cardoon, and he told me that Lisa was hurt. So I turned around and went back to the restaurant. I saw Lisa lying in the street. It was horrible. 

Cross-Examination of Robert

Q: You testified that you were arguing before you stormed out of the Cardoon, right?

A: Yes.

Q: And the argument was about Lisa’s smoking habit, right?

A: Yeah.

Q: And you left her there because you wanted to teach Lisa a lesson about smoking, right?

A: I lost both of my parents to cancer specifically caused by smoking. I honestly wanted to save her from that fate.

Q: Sir, you knew that Lisa was following you to the car?

A: I knew she was following me outside.

Q: You knew that she was wearing flip flops?

A: She wore flip flops, yes.

Q: And when you were leaving the parking lot in the Rav4 Lisa was banging on the car to get your attention?

A: No. I didn’t see her!

Q: And you left the parking lot knowing that she was still in the parking lot?

A: I knew she was still there…

Q: And you left her knowing that she fell down?

A: No…No!

Q: And that was to teach her a lesson about the dangers of smoking?

A: Cancer took my parents…

Q: And then you found out that Lisa had died, right.

A: Yes. She died. (witness sobs) My life will never be the same without Lisa. Her life was taken way too soon, and I apologize for the role that I played in her death and accept responsibility for that. I didn’t mean for this to happen. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do to bring her back.

Q: No further questions.

Stephen's Testimony

Q: You are the owner of the Cardoon?

A: Yes. And I am also Robert’s friend.

Q: What happened on the night of the incident?

A: Lisa ran alongside of Robert’s car for some time but then lost her footing and ended up underneath the rear passenger tire. Robert kept driving.

Q: Did Robert give any indication that he had seen Lisa running alongside the car?

A: Honestly, I couldn’t see, and it really happened so fast.

Q: What did you do after Robert left the scene?

A: I called him on his cell.

Q: Did you speak with him?

A: Yes. I told him that his girlfriend was injured and on the ground. 

Q: Did Robert come back?

A: Right away. When he pulled up, EMTs were giving Lisa CPR. Robert had bloodshot eyes, smelled of alcohol, and had an unsteady walk.

Q: Thank you. Nothing further.

Jury's Verdict

We the jury, find the defendant, Robert Micelli, NOT GUILTY of Manslaughter; and on the count of Reckless Endangerment, we find the defendant GUILTY.


Roberts Lawyer:

Your Honor, Lisa’s death was a tragic accident. Robert was unaware of Lisa’s injuries until he was contacted by restaurant owner. He turned around and came right back to discovery that Lisa was fatally injured. 

My client knows he has to pay a price for his role in Lisa’s death, but we are asking for a lesser jail sentence combined with probation – that, Your Honor, would serve justice.


Your Honor, it was clear to the jury that Robert's conduct was criminal and that Lisa didn't die as the result of an accident. Robert’s actions tore apart a family that can never be repaired — and it has left Lisa's twin sons now motherless.

I would also like to introduce a letter Lisa's mother, Jeannette McInerney, wrote to Your Honor that speaks of her disappointment in the verdict and that she joins prosecutors in asking for the maximum sentence for Robert.

Judge’s Sentence [Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy]

You deserve significant punishment for your actions that night that resulted in the death of Lisa.

I have no doubt that you loved Lisa, but on that particular night you didn't respect her.  You're not going to save a person from lung cancer by dumping them on the side of a road when you've had way too much to drink.

You are sentenced to one year behind bars.

 The Appeal

The conviction is AFFIRMED.

The court noted that Robert deliberately accelerated his vehicle as his girlfriend was running alongside it banging on the passenger side window and pulling on the door handle in an effort to get into the vehicle, thereby placing her at risk of being dragged or falling underneath the vehicle, which is exactly what happened. Such conduct showed an awareness of, and conscious disregard of, a substantial and unjustifiable risk of serious physical injury to another person.

"We hope that this sentence helps [Lisa’s family] in the healing process." 

Press Release by Nassau District Attorney's Office

Click HERE to read more.

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