Saturday, November 8, 2003

MU student awaiting sentence charged again

By Jon Gambrell and Anna Michaels
Enquirer contributors

OXFORD - A Halloween-night incident has led to a new felony charge against a Miami University student who previously pleaded guilty to counterfeiting.

Tori L. Traficante, a 20-year-old Miami sophomore sociology major from Chalfont, Pa., is accused of stealing another student's car and driving while intoxicated.

The stolen car, a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse, was left running by owner Adam Egner as he ran into Brandon Hall to drop off a poster.

"I was probably not even gone a minute," the 20-year-old sophomore mechanical engineering major from Mason said.

"As I came back, my car was driving away."

Egner chased the car until it stalled at a nearby stop sign.

He grabbed onto the door handle and knocked on the window, but the driver kept going.

Oxford Police stopped the car roughly 20 minutes later. Police arrested Traficante.

She already faces sentencing in a counterfeiting operation run out of her Hahne Hall dorm room.

Using her computer and printer, she passed $5, $10 and $20 bills to half a dozen Oxford businesses before being arrested in September.

Court hearings involving a second student charged in the case, Nicholas Kirincic, are pending.

She later pleaded guilty to forgery and possession of criminal tools.

Cars left running are common on Miami's Oxford campus because of a short supply of parking spaces. There have been instances of students moving pizza delivery cars, but very few actual thefts, according to Miami University Police Lt. Andrew Powers.

Traficante will answer the fourth-degree felony theft, as well as drunk driving, underage intoxication and receiving stolen property charges, on Nov. 13 in Butler County Area One Court.

She'll return to the court two weeks later, on Nov. 26, for sentencing in the counterfeiting charges.

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