A New York man was indicted Wednesday on charges of leaving the scene of a hit-and-run that killed a rabbinical student, his pregnant wife and their baby, who was delivered prematurely by cesarean section after the crash.
The Brooklyn grand jury indicted Julio Acevedo on the top charge brought by prosecutors and was held without bail. The Brooklyn District Attorney's office said the investigation is continuing and Acevedo may be indicted on more charges.
Acevedo should not have been behind the wheel — his license should have been taken during an arraignment on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol Feb. 18, court officials said Wednesday. The judge at the time released Acevedo without bail and with his license. But because his blood alcohol was over the legal limit of .08, the license should have been suspended.
The 44-year-old was arrested in Bethlehem, Pa., a week ago by police after a friend brokered his surrender. Acevedo was speeding down a Brooklyn street at 60 mph early on March 3 and crashed into a hired car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, both 21, who were on their way to a hospital, police said.
The car that had been carrying them had a stop sign, but it's unclear whether the driver stopped. The driver was knocked unconscious and police said he has no memory of the crash. Acevedo fled on foot, police said.
The Glaubers died that day. Their son weighed only about 4 pounds when he was delivered, neighbors and friends said. He died the next day.
Defense attorney Kathleen Julian said he feels terrible about what happened, but the incident was an accident. She had no further comment Wednesday on the case.
Acevedo said he was fleeing a gunman who was trying to shoot at him when his borrowed BMW slammed into the Glaubers' hired car. He said that he fled because he was worried he would be killed. But police said there were no reports of shots fired in the area at the time of the wreck.
The couple belonged to a close-knit ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn, which is home to the largest community of ultra-Orthodox Jews outside Israel, more than 250,000. They were members of the Satmar Hasidic sect.