Monday, February 02, 2015

Brooklyn hit-and-run suspect faces life sentence over pregnant couple’s death 

It was a horrific hit-and-run — a BMW barreling down a Brooklyn street slammed into a cab carrying a young couple who were expecting their first child.

The driver, Julio Acevedo, who surrendered to police after four desperate days on the run, will go on trial starting Monday.

Because of prior felony convictions, the 46-year-old defendant could face a life sentence if found guilty of reckless manslaughter or leaving the scene of an accident. And the publicity around the case coupled with the victims' politically connected Satmar Hasidic community adds pressure on prosecutors.

Just after midnight on March 3, 2013, Nachman and Raizel Glauber, who was seven months pregnant, were riding in a livery cab to the hospital. As the cab eased into an intersection along Kent Ave. in Williamsburg, it was T-boned by a car driven by Acevedo. The couple, both 21, instantly died. Their baby died hours later.

Prosecutors contend Acevedo was driving over 60 mph — twice the legal limit — accelerated after passing on a solid yellow line, and then couldn't stop when the cab inched into the intersection.

"It's his whole behavior," said a law enforcement source.

Acevedo's defense will try to minimize his liability, noting that the cabbie was the one who had the stop sign. But it will have a harder time fighting the leaving-the-scene rap.

Acevedo's past explanation was that he fled due to a deeply rooted distrust of the authorities. He was convicted of a 1987 murder, with the government withholding the fact that a collaborator confirmed Acevedo's defense that he was forced to kill his friend.

The conviction was overturned a decade later and, awaiting a new trial, he robbed a dice game. A judge offered a plea to both the manslaughter and robbery charges for time served — and Acevedo jumped at the deal.

That decision may come back to haunt him: The convictions for violent felonies mean he can get between 12 to life and 20 to life if found guilty now.

"He's facing all these enhancements because of things that happened two decades ago," said his lawyer, Scott Brettschneider.

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