Niagara Gazette

Courts

November 14, 2013

Teen gets weekends in jail for SUV assault

Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — Liana Nieves, the Town of Tonawanda teen who ran over a girl with an SUV, wept in court Thursday as she was ordered to spend weekends in the Erie County Correctional Facility for the next six months as part of her five year probationary sentence.

"This is one of the more troubling cases I've had to deal with," Supreme Court Judge John Michalski said before imposing the sentence. "Sometimes it's really easy, sometimes it's difficult, like this was ... but this wasn't a mishap, it wasn't an accident."

Nieves, 18, faced a maximum sentence of 25 years in state prison. She pleaded guilty in July to first-degree assault, admitting that on April 26 on Chaplin Drive, she ran over victim Madeleine Silvia after fighting with the girl on social media and text messaging.

At the time of the arrest, police said Nieves got in her car, pressed on the gas and hit Silvia, whose body tumbled away. Nieves then continued to coast, and drove over her body again. Silvia, who was in the courtroom Thursday, suffered serious injuries to her internal organs and pelvic bone.

"I never in my life thought something like this would have happened to me," Silvia said in court. "How could she have done this to me? I was in the worst pain of my life."

Silvia said she missed the last months of her senior year at Kenmore West due to the assault. She has been unable to go to work or school due to medical procedures and pain. The victim's parents were also in court Thursday, and addressed the pain their daughter has suffered.

"Nothing prepares you to see your child lying in a hospital bed, covered in scrapes from head to toe that won't stop bleeding," Kathleen Silvia, Madeline's mother, said in court, which was packed with family members of both teens. "To hit her and then leave her there is unthinkable and unforgivable."

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