Hofstra student's family seeks autopsy records of robber
The family of a Hofstra student shot and killed by a Nassau police officer during a hostage standoff in May is calling on the county to release the autopsy records of the ex-convict who detectives said initiated the confrontation, court records show.
Lawyers representing the family of Andrea Rebello filed documents in State Supreme Court in Nassau last week directing Chief Medical Examiner Tamara Bloom to turn over the autopsy file on Dalton Smith, who police said used the 21-year-old as a human shield during a robbery at her off-campus home in Uniondale.
Both Rebello and Smith were fatally shot by Officer Nikolas Budimlic, a 12-year veteran of the Nassau police force.
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"It is important to get the complete autopsy file of Dalton Smith to determine the manner and trajectory of the bullets entering the bodies, the photographs depicting the size and shape of the bullet wounds, the X-rays, etc., as all such information will aid a forensic pathologist in coming to a conclusion of how the incident occurred," the court filings state.
Police have said Smith was less than 10 feet from Budimlic during the confrontation and was pointing a 9-mm handgun at the officer.
A "scientific" review of the information will affect "any future civil action" against the county, the court documents state.
Nassau County Attorney John Ciampoli said he will contest the immediate release of Smith's autopsy, arguing it could "violate a host of privacy laws. I would be reluctant to have the medical examiner turn over the autopsy records to anyone not representing that person's estate."
The Rebello family's attorneys, Byron Lassin of Queens and David Roth of Manhattan, did not return calls on Friday.
Newsday has been unable to locate Smith's family, and it's unclear if they would contest the release of the autopsy.
The autopsy file, Ciampoli said, will likely be available to the Rebello family as part of the discovery process if they file a lawsuit against the county.
Last month, Lassin and Roth filed documents stating that they intend to sue Nassau for "wrongful death, civil rights and negligence actions."
Budimlic fired eight rounds on May 17 after confronting Smith, 30, as the Hempstead man held Rebello in a chokehold, police said.
Smith walked through an unlocked door into the California Avenue rental home Rebello shared with her twin sister and two others, and demanded money and jewelry, police said.
Smith ordered a female resident to withdraw cash from a bank, and said he would kill someone in the home if she did not return within eight minutes, police said. While at the bank, the woman called 911.
Nassau Police Benevolent Association president James Carver has said the 911 call was not transmitted as a hostage situation and that Budimlic believed he was responding to a robbery in progress.
With Kevin Deutsch