Julio Acevedo, arrested in connection with a horrific Williamsburg, Brooklyn, crash that killed three people, was charged with criminally negligent homicide late Thursday.
Acevedo was also charged with leaving the scene of a crash and three counts of assault, and was jailed without the possibility of posting bail. Judge Stephen Antignani granted an order of protection to a livery driver who was involved in the crash and suspended Acevedo's driver's license.
The 44-year-old man wore a white T-Shirt, light blue hooded sweat shirt and black sneakers during the brief hearing in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn. Acevedo, who surrendered to authorities in Pennsylvania after a four-day manhunt, arrived at the 78th Precinct in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon and left amid a flurry of reporters for arraignment shortly before 8 p.m.
The Brooklyn man spent the night at Lehigh County Prison after surrendering at a convenience store in Bethlehem, Pa., on Wednesday. Police say he fled the Sunday morning crash that killed an expectant mother, her Monsey-reared husband and, later, their newborn son. The manhunt ended with his surrender to members of a fugitive task force.
"When we arraign the defendant, we will announce that we have charged him with the most serious crime available based on the facts, pending a further review of all forensics, including DNA by a Kings County grand jury," Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes said Thursday. "At that time, the grand jury will determine the highest charge. We will announce the action of the grand jury when it is appropriate."
It wasn't immediately clear whether Acevedo's friend, who helped negotiate his surrender, would collect more than $20,000 in reward money. New York City Council member David Greenfield, who represents part of Brooklyn, separately offered a $5,000 reward for Acevedo's arrest. Conor Greene, the councilman's spokesman, said his office will wait for the NYPD to make a determination on who was ultimately responsible for Acevedo's surrender and arrest. Greene said the total amount of reward money raised within the Brooklyn Orthodox community may have reached as much as $50,000.
During an extradition hearing earlier Thursday, Acevedo told the judge he would voluntarily return to New York City, according to the Lehigh County district attorney's office in Pennsylvania.
"He told the judge he wanted to go back to New York," said Debbie Garlicki, executive aide to the district attorney.
During the 10-minute hearing, at which Acevedo was shackled and wearing an orange jumpsuit, Acevedo also told Judge Kelly Banach of the Lehigh Court of Common Pleas that he lives in Brooklyn with his mother, has an 11th grade education and is unemployed.
"It was pretty perfunctory," the judge said. "He was literally turned over to New York police." After the hearing, she said Acevedo was taken back to the county prison, across the street from the courthouse. He was released from the prison and into the custody of the NYPD.
Acevedo allegedly slammed the BMW he was driving into a livery cab, killing Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21-year-old Orthodox Jews living in Williamsburg. Raizy Glauber was seven months pregnant, and her son was delivered Sunday by Caesarean section. He died Monday.
For friends and family of the couple, the arrest was "a bitter pill to swallow," said Isaac Abraham, a spokesman for the Hasidic Jewish community.
"It's a little good news that at least the man responsible has been arrested, but it doesn't bring any of the victims back," he said.
He added that community members hoped Acevedo would face murder charges.
"We in the community hope that today is Acevedo's last day that he sees daylight for the rest of his life," Abraham said.
Acevedo served about a decade in prison in the 1990s for manslaughter after he was convicted of shooting Kelvin Martin, a Brooklyn criminal whose moniker "50 Cent" was the inspiration for rapper Curtis Jackson's current stage name.
Last month, officers stopped Acevedo, who was driving erratically. He was found to have a blood-alcohol level of .13 percent, well over the .08 percent limit for legal intoxication in the state, police said, and was charged with driving while under the influence.
It remains unknown whether Acevedo was drinking when he crashed into the livery cab in which the Glaubers were passengers.
The details of how the deadly incident unfolded and how Acevedo came to possess the BMW in the crash are under investigation. The registered owner, Takia Walker, was arrested on insurance fraud charges Sunday in a scam involving the car, police said. She was not involved in the crash.
The BMW was traveling about 60 mph, according to police, when it smashed into the cab shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday, leaving it in a crumpled heap. The driver of the cab suffered only minor injuries.
Raizy Glauber grew up in a prominent rabbinical family. Her husband was studying at a rabbinical college. His family founded a line of clothing for Orthodox Jews. The couple and their baby were buried in Kiryas Joel at a cemetery affiliated with their Satmar Hasidic denomination.
With Chau Lam, Anthony M. DeStefano, Igor Kossov, Ellen Yan and The Associated Press