A Bellport man with a history of driving drunk — and already on probation for a DWI conviction — had nearly triple the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he smashed his SUV into another vehicle while fleeing police at speeds of 135 miles per hour, killing a Westhampton Beach man, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
Jordan Randolph, 40, whose case became a flashpoint in the debate over the state's new bail reform laws, was arraigned Thursday in Central Islip on a 24-count indictment stemming from the Jan. 12 crash on the William Floyd Parkway in Shirley that killed 27-year-old Jonathan Flores-Maldonado.
Randolph, who was remanded without bail, is charged with seven counts of aggravated vehicular homicide; second-degree manslaughter; two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and 14 other charges.
If convicted of the top count, Randolph faces a maximum sentence of 12½ to 25 years in prison. Prosecutors said Randolph could face life in prison if the court determines him to be a persistent felony offender.
Assistant District Attorney Jacob DeLauter said that at 4 a.m. a police officer observed Randolph's 2014 Cadillac facing the wrong way on the northbound parkway. As the officer drove toward the vehicle, Randolph drove in reverse before crossing into the southbound lane, officials said.
Randolph, swerving in and out of traffic, then made an illegal U-turn over the roadway's median, fleeing northbound at a high rate of speed and crashing into the rear of Flores-Maldonado's 2015 Ford Escape just south of Rose Executive Boulevard, authorities said. A black box recovered from Randolph's car indicated he was driving 130 mph at the time of the crash, DeLauter said.
Flores-Maldonado, a Buffalo State College graduate, was pronounced dead at Stony Brook University Hospital.
Randolph fled on foot but was detained by multiple officers, DeLauter said.
While Flores-Maldonado was in his car "taking his last breaths," DeLauter said Randolph was hurling expletives and making threats at responding officers and EMTs. Randolph told police it was "just a DWI" and promised he would "be out tomorrow," because of a new state law eliminating bail for most misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies.
After the crash, Randolph refused to submit to a chemical test of his blood. But blood drawn from Randolph at the hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.23%, DeLauter said. The legal limit is 0.08%.
"I am here to get justice for my son," Lillian Flores, the victim's mother, said after the arraignment. "This should have happened before in the court; before my son became a body count.."
Randolph’s attorney, Bryan Cameron of Sayville, said his "client is presumed innocent and these are all allegations at this point."
Randolph has three previous DWI convictions — he was on probation in Nassau for the most recent charge at the time of the crash — along with convictions for attempted robbery, endangering the welfare of a child and assault. In total, Randolph has six felony convictions, six misdemeanor convictions and five failures to appear in court, records show.
Randolph's case, with disparate legal interpretations from the courts, prosecutors and judicial experts, epitomizes how the legal system is grappling with the new bail law, which went into effect at the start of the year.
On Jan. 1, Randolph was arrested in Suffolk and charged with interfering with an ignition interlock device meant to keep drunken drivers from starting their vehicle. He was released without bail. State officials and legal experts who reviewed the case say Suffolk prosecutors could have sought to detain Randolph because he was in violation of probation in Nassau.
But Suffolk prosecutors disagreed, arguing the new bail law prevented the court from holding Randolph. Instead they asked acting County Court Judge James McDonaugh to impose electronic monitoring on Randolph — a request that was denied. State court officials later said McDonaugh misinterpreted the new bail laws when he denied electronic monitoring.
Following the Jan. 12 crash, Randolph was charged with DWI but again released on his own recognizance. He was arrested in Nassau three days later and held without bail for violating probation, stemming from a 2017 drunken driving conviction.