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Long IslandSuffolk

DWI, manslaughter indictment in fatal Holbrook crash

A Suffolk grand jury Tuesday indicted a Centereach man on charges that he drove drunk after crashing his car into another vehicle in Holbrook in May, killing a woman and injuring her passenger.

James O'Donnell, 47, was initially charged with driving while intoxicated after, police said, he plowed into Kristen Iacono, 26, of East Setauket, on May 23. Iacono died a day later. Her passenger, Joseph Kemp, 30, of Holbrook, suffered "serious physical" injury, according to the indictment.

In addition to the DWI charges, the grand jury also indicted O'Donnell on one count of second-degree manslaughter, saying his reckless behavior caused Iacono's death; two counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and two counts of second-degree vehicular assault.

O'Donnell, single and unemployed, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Suffolk County Court Judge John J. Toomey Jr. in Riverhead. O'Donnell is being held at Suffolk County jail, also in Riverhead, on bail, which the judge set at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond.

O'Donnell's attorney, John Halverson, of Patchogue, could not be reached for comment.

Police said O'Donnell was driving his 1995 Mercury Marquis north on Holbrook Road when he crashed into a 2005 Lincoln driven by Iacono, who was driving westbound on the north service road of the Long Island Expressway.

O'Donnell told police he had half a beer at Momo's Sports Bar & Grill in Holbrook and then visited a friend in Farmingville, Robert Clifford, a spokesman for Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, said Tuesday. The crash happened at 12:08 a.m. as O'Donnell was driving home.

If convicted of manslaughter, the most serious charge, O'Donnell faces 5 to 15 years in prison, Clifford said.

Judge Toomey ordered O'Donnell back to court for a conference on Aug. 2.

Attempts to reach Kemp and Iacono's families Tuesday were unsuccessful.