Daniel Campbell pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Devesh Samtani and under the plea agreement would receive six months in jail, but that can be substituted by community service, according to Judge Richard Ambro of Suffolk County Supreme Court. Credit: John Roca

A 20-year-old Montauk man pleaded guilty on Friday in a hit-and-run accident that left an 18-year-old college-bound student dead last summer, but he apparently will not be going to jail under a plea arrangement.

Daniel Campbell pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Devesh Samtani. Under the plea agreement he would receive 6 months in jail, but that can be substituted by community service, according to Judge Richard Ambro of Suffolk County Supreme Court.

Campbell would also be placed on probation for 5 years. Ambro set a sentencing for Sept. 22, and laid out details of the agreement in court on Friday.

Samtani’s family, including his parents who flew in from Hong Kong for the court hearing, expressed disbelief that Campbell likely will end up serving no jail time.

Samtani’s mother, Mala Samtani, stood outside the courthouse on Friday clutching a photograph of her dead son. 

“We want our son back,” she said. “Please explain why I can’t get my son back and the boy who killed my son can go scot free just with community service and probation. That’s not fair. That’s not justice.”

Campbell’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., said Campbell was extremely remorseful and would address the court at the sentencing in September.

Burke said Campbell “had wanted to come into court and express his remorse, express his feelings, and acknowledge responsibility for his actions … He pleaded guilty to the single count in the indictment.”

At the sentencing on Sept. 22, "he looks forward to addressing the Samtani family to show his remorse, to show what he’s been thinking, and to show the family the type of person that he is,” Burke said.

Asked about criticism from Samtani's family that the sentence is unjust, Burke said that “at this time … we are going to just press the pause button and address the court on Sept 22. We have a lot to say."

Kishore Samtani, Devesh's father, said the judge is sending a message that people involved in fatal hit-and-run accidents can avoid going to jail.

“It’s a bad example for the new millennials in that if you hit somebody, just run," he said. "Because first, you could get away. And even if you are caught, you’re going to walk scot free, just like this gentleman.”

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said it had no comment but noted that prosecutors asked the judge to impose a jail sentence of 1 to 3 years. "The court has the independent authority to sentence as it sees appropriate for a top count plea," the office of Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney said.

Tierney has previously said hit-and-run laws need to be strengthened.

Authorities said Samtani was killed after he was hit by a vehicle Campbell was driving in Amagansett last summer.

In the weeks before he was to start his freshman year at New York University, Samtani had been summering in the Hamptons with 13 family members in a rental in Sagaponack, relatives and officials said last year.

The night of the crash, Aug. 10, he was part of a large crowd spilling out of a house party in Amagansett, police said at the time. The police had broken up the party, ordering everyone to disperse. Samtani was hit in the road, allegedly by Campbell, who was about to drop people off at the party, authorities said.

A 20-year-old Montauk man pleaded guilty on Friday in a hit-and-run accident that left an 18-year-old college-bound student dead last summer, but he apparently will not be going to jail under a plea arrangement.

Daniel Campbell pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Devesh Samtani. Under the plea agreement he would receive 6 months in jail, but that can be substituted by community service, according to Judge Richard Ambro of Suffolk County Supreme Court.

Campbell would also be placed on probation for 5 years. Ambro set a sentencing for Sept. 22, and laid out details of the agreement in court on Friday.

Devesh Samtani in a photograph courtesy of his family.

Devesh Samtani in a photograph courtesy of his family. Credit: Samtani family

Samtani’s family, including his parents who flew in from Hong Kong for the court hearing, expressed disbelief that Campbell likely will end up serving no jail time.

Samtani’s mother, Mala Samtani, stood outside the courthouse on Friday clutching a photograph of her dead son. 

“We want our son back,” she said. “Please explain why I can’t get my son back and the boy who killed my son can go scot free just with community service and probation. That’s not fair. That’s not justice.”

Campbell’s attorney, Edward Burke Jr., said Campbell was extremely remorseful and would address the court at the sentencing in September.

Burke said Campbell “had wanted to come into court and express his remorse, express his feelings, and acknowledge responsibility for his actions … He pleaded guilty to the single count in the indictment.”

At the sentencing on Sept. 22, "he looks forward to addressing the Samtani family to show his remorse, to show what he’s been thinking, and to show the family the type of person that he is,” Burke said.

Asked about criticism from Samtani's family that the sentence is unjust, Burke said that “at this time … we are going to just press the pause button and address the court on Sept 22. We have a lot to say."

Kishore Samtani, Devesh's father, said the judge is sending a message that people involved in fatal hit-and-run accidents can avoid going to jail.

“It’s a bad example for the new millennials in that if you hit somebody, just run," he said. "Because first, you could get away. And even if you are caught, you’re going to walk scot free, just like this gentleman.”

The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office said it had no comment but noted that prosecutors asked the judge to impose a jail sentence of 1 to 3 years. "The court has the independent authority to sentence as it sees appropriate for a top count plea," the office of Suffolk District Attorney Ray Tierney said.

Tierney has previously said hit-and-run laws need to be strengthened.

Authorities said Samtani was killed after he was hit by a vehicle Campbell was driving in Amagansett last summer.

Mala Samtani holds a photograph of her son, NYU freshman...

Mala Samtani holds a photograph of her son, NYU freshman Devesh Samtani, at Suffolk County Criminal Court in Riverhead on Friday. Credit: John Roca

In the weeks before he was to start his freshman year at New York University, Samtani had been summering in the Hamptons with 13 family members in a rental in Sagaponack, relatives and officials said last year.

The night of the crash, Aug. 10, he was part of a large crowd spilling out of a house party in Amagansett, police said at the time. The police had broken up the party, ordering everyone to disperse. Samtani was hit in the road, allegedly by Campbell, who was about to drop people off at the party, authorities said.

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