Man guilty of woman's death in Bohemia crash

A female passenger in a car that was

A female passenger in a car that was struck by another vehicle being chased by a deputy Suffolk sheriff on Sunrise Highway has died, authorities said. (June 27, 2011) (Credit: James Carbone)

A Brooklyn man was convicted Friday of killing a Holbrook woman while fleeing police after stealing 41 pairs of jeans from a store at the Tanger mall in Riverhead.

A Suffolk County jury found Cordell Tucker, 26, guilty of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree assault, third-degree grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, reckless endangerment and numerous traffic counts.

Tucker faces 71/3 to 22 years in prison when he is sentenced in Central Islip by State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho on June 27, the two-year anniversary of the crash that killed Gail Sacher, 62. The victim was a passenger in a car driven by her husband.

"There was overwhelming proof of all the counts," said Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe. "When the police tried to stop him, he took off."

Tucker drove erratically and at high speed on the Long Island Expressway, then south on Route 112 -- sometimes on the sidewalk, the median and the wrong side of the road -- and west on Sunrise Highway before plowing into Sacher's car at the intersection of the service road and Lincoln Avenue in Bohemia.

Her husband, Alan Sacher, testified that he knew right away she was in bad shape, Newcombe said.

"He's heartbroken, but trying to cope," she said.

Tucker testified and admitted what he did, but said he wasn't thinking straight, Newcombe said.

Sheriff's deputies tried to pull him over after seeing his car, which matched the description of the one fleeing the scene of a theft of almost $6,000 worth of jeans from the mall's True Religion store.

Tucker's Nesconset attorney, Michael Gajdos, could not be reached for comment.

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