DA: Jury Selection Starts in Central Islip for Flanders Man Charged in 2014 Fatal Hampton Bays DWI Crash
May 5, 2015
LONG ISLAND, NY – Jury selection for the aggravated vehicular homicide trial of a 31 year old Flanders man began in Central Islip today, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
During the early morning of January 5, 2014, Joseph Perez was driving his F-150 pickup at a high rate of speed westbound on Montauk Highway entering Hampton Bays after leaving the Dream Nightclub where he had crashed into a parked car as he was leaving.
At approximately 4:15 am near the Ponquogue Avenue intersection, Perez drove onto the shoulder of the road, sideswiped a parked car and struck another vehicle and its driver who was outside of the car delivering newspapers. The victim, 56 year old Donna Sartori of Middle Island, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Joseph Perez, 31, of Flanders was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
“This office secured a blood warrant and the analysis of the defendant’s blood established he had a blood alcohol level of .20, nearly three times the legal threshold of intoxication approximately four hours after the crash,” DA Spota said.
Charges in the nine count indictment include aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene. The top count, aggravated vehicular homicide as a class “B” felony, is punishable by a period of imprisonment of up to 25 years.
State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho (third floor of the First District courthouse) will preside at trial.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty. Defendants are entitled to a fair trial with the burden on the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Disclaimer: News articles on this site may contain opinions of the author, and if opinion, may not necessarily reflect the views of the site itself or the views of the owners of NewsLI.com, Long Island Media Inc., or Long Island Exchange®. For more information on our editorial policies please view our terms of service.