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Witness refuses to call man who killed dad, kids drunk

New York State troopers stand at the scene

New York State troopers stand at the scene of a fiery crash in the westbound lanes of the Southern State Parkway near Exit 41S in Bay Shore. The crash occurred about 1 a.m. July 12, 2015. Credit: James Carbone

A Laurelton medical assistant resisted a Suffolk prosecutor’s attempts Friday to get him to describe the man charged with killing three family members as drunk before he got in his car and drove at high speed moments before the July 12, 2015, crash on the Southern State Parkway at Exit 41 in Bay Shore.

Raeshawn Holmes, 25, frequently said he didn’t remember many details of a party he was at or the aftermath of the crash that killed Ancio Ostane, 37, and his children, Andy, 8, and Sephora, 4, all of St. Albans. Holmes testified in Central Islip at the trial of Oniel Sharpe Jr., 25, of Springfield Gardens. He is charged with aggravated vehicular homicide and other crimes.

Holmes testified he was at a Brentwood pool party also attended by Sharpe, but he barely knew him and didn’t pay much attention to him.

“I wasn’t really focused on dudes,” he said during questioning by Assistant District Attorney Patricia Brosco.

Holmes, who said he did not want to testify, couldn’t remember where the party was or much that happened there. Afterward, he said he was driving slowly on the parkway as he struggled to get his GPS to work. He knew he was holding up traffic and that people — including Sharpe — passed him. Brosco asked how fast Sharpe was going.

“I don’t know,” Holmes said. “I’m not a speedometer.”

Brosco attempted to remind Holmes he had given more detailed answers on all these issues when he testified at a grand jury, but state Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho told her the law doesn’t permit her to attack her own witness’ credibility.

Holmes then said he had couldn’t recall many of the details of that time because he got shot three weeks later.

“Did you get shot in the head?” Brosco asked.

“Miss Brosco, that’s enough,” Camacho said.

She moved on to crash aftermath. “Miss, I don’t want to talk about this incident,” Holmes said.

He told her he saw Sharpe helping his cousin, who was lying on the grass. And he saw the only survivor from the crash, Lucnie Bouaz-Ostane, wife of Ancio and mother of the two children.

“There was a lady, running back and forth,” Holmes said. “If it was my kid, I would have got them out.”

Holmes took a video in which Bouaz-Ostane can be heard screaming for her children.

During cross-examination by defense attorney Jonathan Manley of Hauppauge, Holmes explained why he recalled so little about the party — he’d smoked at least three marijuana cigars that night. “I was high all night,” he said.

Another witness who had been at the party, Korri Kennedy of Queens, called 911 when she came upon the crash. Jurors heard a recording of the call.

“Oh my god! Oh my god, there’s kids and a man,” she told the fire dispatcher. “It’s blowing up!”

She struggled to tell the dispatcher where the crash was in relation to Exit 41, and he asked her, “Do you understand I need to know where to send them?”

“Oh my god,” she said. “They’re dead. It’s over.”

The trial resumes Tuesday.

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