Friday, February 20, 2015
A motorist already accused in a horrific hit-and-run traffic accident that killed a pregnant ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman and her husband in Brooklyn was charged Tuesday with three counts of second-degree manslaughter, including one for the death of the couple's premature child.
Julio Acevedo was also indicted on three new counts of criminally negligent homicide to go along with a lesser charge, announced earlier this month, of leaving the scene of an accident. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.
"While we knew it was a snowy evening and the defendant was speeding, our investigation has developed additional information concerning the nature of Mr. Acevedo's conduct leading up to the fatal crash," Brooklyn District Attorney Hynes said in statement.
Hynes cited evidence that Acevedo was traveling nearly 70 miles (110 kilometers) per hour — more than twice the legal speed limit — on March 3 when he crashed into a hired car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, who were on their way to a hospital. Police had previously put his speed at about 60 mph (97 kph).
In addition, firefighter and civilian witnesses described Acevedo driving a borrowed BMW recklessly and accelerating as he passed their vehicles and rounded a curve moments before impact, prosecutors said.
Good Samaritans who stopped to help the crash victims told investigators that Acevedo assured them he wasn't hurt. Prosecutors allege that he slipped away on foot, fully aware of the carnage.
The Glaubers, both 21, died that day. Their son, delivered by Cesarean section, died a day later.
The deaths left the couple's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn grief stricken and touched off an intense manhunt for the 44-year-old suspect, who served time in the 1990s for a shooting conviction. He surrendered after five days on the run.
Defense attorney Kathleen Julian said Tuesday that her client would continue to fight the charges.
"The case should be decided on the facts and not on public outcry," the lawyer said.
Acevedo's family has described him as a dedicated family man who quit his job to become a stay-at-home father. His mother told the Daily News he's "not the monster they're portraying him to be."
Acevedo is being held without bail.
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