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Bail set for woman accused of leading effort to hide vehicle involved in fatal hit and run

Michelle Livingston makes an appearance in court on June 18, 2018. (Photojournalist Dennis Harmon)

Bail has been set for a woman accused of coordinating an effort to hide a vehicle involved in a deadly hit and run crash last week.

Michelle Livingston had bail set at $40,000 cash or bond in court Monday morning. Prosecutors said her daughter's boyfriend Vontelle Sparks, 33, was driving her car when it was involved in a crash that claimed the life of Lawrence Maturo on June 11.

Livingston allegedly told others to hide the vehicle after the deadly crash; the vehicle was found abandoned Rudy Schmid's Body Shop property in Syracuse. Sparks' girlfriend Ashley Cuozzo, 30, his sister Lakeya Sparks, 39, and Sylvester Livingston, 54, are also facing charges in the case.

Vontelle M. Sparks, of Camillus, faces charges of Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Conspiracy and Moving from Lane Unsafely for the crash. The charges came after Sparks turned himself in with his lawyer to state police one day after the crash. He has pleaded not guilty to those charges.

Maturo, 27, and his bicycle were found by a passerby and a trooper in the Town of Clay just outside the village of North Syracuse within moments of the collision at about 6:30 a.m. on June 11; the passerby told state police they saw debris fly into the air from the collision.

Troopers said Maturo was heading to his home from Planet Fitness and was just .2 miles away from his house when he was struck.

Maturo was taken to Upstate University Hospital's trauma center in "very critical condition," according to state police. He was then pronounced dead at 10:24 a.m., officials said.

SEE ALSO | 'He will always make me smile': Father and 'sibling cousins' fondly remember Larry Maturo

Asked last week why Sparks fled the scene, investigators said he apparently panicked. Asked if Sparks is suspected of having alcohol in his system at the time of the crash, state police said, "At this point that's part of the investigation."

Investigators said at this point it appears Sparks was alone at the time of the crash.

Records show Sparks was arrested just last year in Onondaga County for aggravated unlicensed operation. The state DMV says his license was suspended at the time of the crash.

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