A Yorktown teenager has been charged with running down and killing popular local real estate agent Randy Zapakin, who was walking his dog Nov. 8 along Farm Walk Road.
Brett Nelson, 18, faces up to four years in prison if convicted of criminally negligent homicide, the top charge in an indictment handed up Thursday by a Westchester County grand jury.
Nelson was arraigned Friday morning in Westchester County Court in White Plains after turning himself in at Yorktown police headquarters. He was indicted Thursday. He pleaded not guilty and was released on $25,000 bail.
A lawyer for Nelson could not be located. A call to Nelson's home, where the 2012 Yorktown High School graduate lives with his parents, was not immediately returned.
Zapakin, 57, was a popular and well-known figure in the Yorktown community, where he lived and worked. He was a Realtor with Keller-Williams in Yorktown Heights.
His friends and family are still grieving his loss, said Diane Butterman, the office manager of Keller Williams. He was involved in charitable and community events throughout the town.
"He truly was loved," she said between tearful outbursts during an interview Friday with Newsday. "He always made you feel good. He's missed every day."
The agency continues to run charitable events that once benefited from Zapakin's participation, she said.
"Not having him there was a tremendous void that everybody felt," she said.
Nelson was driving a 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier when he struck Zapakin about 8 p.m. Nov. 8 just a few feet from Zapakin's home on Farm Walk Road, prosecutors said.
After striking Zapakin, Nelson drove the car off the roadway and traveled about 100 feet before striking a tree, prosecutors said.
Zapakin was pronounced dead at the scene. Blood and urine tests later revealed Nelson had THC, the main intoxicant of marijuana, in his system at the time of the crash, prosecutors said.
In addition to the homicide charge, the grand jury also charged Nelson with a misdemeanor count of reckless driving and three violations -- unlawful possession of marijuana, failure to use due care while driving, and driving left of center on a roadway.
Nelson is due back in court May 28.