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DA: Drunken driver found guilty in Manhattan pedestrian death

A Manhattan man was convicted Tuesday of multiple counts, including driving under the influence of alcohol and fatally striking a pedestrian in Washington Heights in 2010.

Argelis Alcantara, 31, was found guilty in New York State Supreme Court of all counts -- vehicular manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting resulting in death and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

"Every drunk driver is a potential killer," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. in a news release. "A life was lost because this defendant decided to get behind the wheel after drinking. As a result, a 23-year-old man tragically died. I thank the jury for its service on this case."

On May 22, 2010, Alcantara spent the early morning at Arka Lounge on 192nd Street and Broadway, officials said. About 3:50 a.m., Alcantara took a taxi home, but a short time later drove his own car back to the lounge while still under the influence of alcohol.

Alcantara accelerated through a yellow light at 173rd Street and Broadway just after 5 a.m. and hit pedestrian Jose Jimenez, officials said.

Jimenez was catapulted through the air and ultimately landed in front of an eyewitness driving a vehicle in the opposite direction, officials said.

The eyewitness followed Alcantara's car until he was able to flag down police officers at the nearby 34th Precinct.

Alcantara is set to be sentenced Dec. 16, officials said. The top counts of leaving the scene and vehicular manslaughter are felonies, each carrying a maximum sentence of 21/3 to 7 years in state prison, officials said.

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