A man who fled to Ecuador after authorities said he killed an 80-year-old retired teacher in a Westbury hit-and-run crash plans to plead guilty more than a decade later under a deal that would send him to prison for 12 years, according to the prosecution and the defense.
John Kase, a lawyer for Sebastian Barba, said Thursday that his client has agreed to plead guilty on March 18 to assault or manslaughter in exchange for the sentence.
Authorities have said victim Jean Renison of Westbury was crossing the street on Feb. 6, 2001, when Barba's Cadillac hit her and she fell onto the car's hood. They said she slid into the street before Barba ran her over.
Renison's family has said that the victim, who also had served in naval intelligence during World War II, had been heading to see her hairdresser.
Prosecutor Brendan Ahern told a judge during Barba's appearance in Nassau County Court Thursday that authorities had consulted with Renison's family on a plea offer.
Barba, now 36, spent years as a fugitive before his November 2012 arrest at a Panama airport after authorities got an Interpol notice about his fugitive status.
The defendant, whose case was on the TV show "America's Most Wanted," had been returning to Ecuador after a business trip.
He pleaded not guilty later that month to depraved indifference murder and leaving an accident scene, charges that had him facing up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Authorities said then Barba might have eluded capture if he'd stayed in Ecuador, which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the United States.
He told Newsday in a 2013 interview that he is remorseful and knew someday he would have to pay for his actions.
Wearing a business suit and handcuffs, Barba smiled at his wife as court officers escorted him in and out of court Thursday. She declined to comment.
Kase called the incident a tragedy that has impacted the family of the deceased and the family of the accused, saying he hoped both would get "some sense of justice and relief" when the case is resolved.
District Attorney Kathleen Rice said her office cooperated with law enforcement partners to make Barba answer for his crimes. "We hope that a resolution in this case will bring closure to the victim's family," she said in a statement.