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Drunk driver accused of leaving friend to die in Sag Harbor

A Manhattan real estate developer has been charged with drunk driving and may face a charge of vehicular homicide in connection with an accident in a residential neighborhood in Sag Harbor. The accused has escaped serious punishment for prior criminal acts, but he may not be able to escape the consequences of drinking and driving.

The defendant was giving a friend a ride home in his 2013 Porsche when he struck a telephone pole in front of the man’s home. According to police reports, the passenger had been partially ejected from the car, and the driver pulled him out of the car and left him on the ground. The driver removed the passenger’s wallet and threw it into nearby woods. He then drove away from the scene, leaving his friend to die from his injuries.

Two flat tires prevented the driver from traveling more than half a mile. Police found the man standing in the middle of the road. They traced an oil leak from the Porsche back to the scene of the accident, where they found the passenger’s body. The police officer who made the arrest stated that “A strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emanating from his breath.” The defendant has previously faced charges of harassment and assault with a deadly weapon and breaking into the apartment of a former girlfriend. In the first case, he received only probation, and in the second case, he pleaded guilty to harassment but served no jail time and paid no fine.

In this case, as in many others that have been noted in this blog, leaving the scene of an accident is never a good idea. Being charged with crimes ranging from DUI to vehicular homicide is a terrifying prospect. Anyone in a similar situation may wish to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who will be able assess the case, identify possible defenses and provide an estimate on the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: The Daily Beast, “The Most Violent Man in the Hamptons?,” Michael Daly, Sep. 3, 2015