Lawyer pleads guilty in crash that injured man

Tabber Benedict, a Manhattan lawyer and philanthropist who Tabber Benedict, a Manhattan lawyer and philanthropist who was drunk when he struck an East Quogue lifeguard last year with his car, pleaded guilty and will serve jail time, his attorney said. Photo Credit: AP

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Tabber Benedict, a Manhattan lawyer and philanthropist who was drunk when he struck an East Quogue lifeguard last year with his car, pleaded guilty Tuesday and will serve jail time, his attorney said.

Benedict, 35, seriously injured Steven Dorn, 44, as the lifeguard and schoolteacher rode his bicycle on Montauk Highway near County Route 104 in Quogue on July 4, 2011.

Benedict will lose his law license because of the conviction, Mark Heller, his attorney, said.

"He's very remorseful and very contrite," Heller said. "The punishment is never going to be proportionate, because not only will he be incarcerated, but he will also lose his livelihood."

In a statement, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota called Heller's comment "absurd" and said the punishment is "completely proportional to the crimes he [Benedict] committed."

Benedict was driving at 8 in the morning "with a blood-alcohol level four times the legal limit, ran over a bicyclist and left the victim seriously injured on the side of the road," according to the statement.

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Benedict, a Columbia Law School graduate who founded Benedict Advisors, a Manhattan-based corporate law firm, pleaded guilty in Suffolk County Criminal Court to the 10 charges filed against him.

These included charges of driving while intoxicated, aggravated vehicular assault, and leaving the scene of an accident, records show.

Benedict faces 3 1/3 to 10 years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 23.

Dorn, who was struck by Benedict's 2011 GMC Acadia, suffered critical injuries in the crash, police said.

Benedict hit a car after striking Dorn's bicycle and fled the scene before two drivers who witnessed the crash stopped him, authorities said.

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