He still has his license and it’s not to be suspended.
So said New York City Criminal Court Judge Marguerite Dougherty on Monday, January 11, after reviewing the case of Marlon Sewell, the 39-year-old Brooklyn man who drove his car onto a busy sidewalk at Fulton Street and South Portland Avenue this past December 6, killing 30-year-old Victoria Nicodemus and injuring her boyfriend and a 75-year-old woman.
“There are no allegations of the defendant recklessly driving,” said Dougherty by way of explaining her decision, according to DNAInfo. She added that the fact that Sewell’s car is currently impounded as evidence in the case “negates the necessity” of suspending his license now. However, Sewell can still, of course, drive someone else’s car with his now intact license.
Dougherty also stated that although Sewell violated a suspended license by driving on the night of the fatal crash, it was suspended because of unpaid child support, not because of any traffic infractions.
Neither she nor prosecutors brought up Sewell’s history of speeding in school zones on three occasions in November, noted DNAInfo.
The news came as a disappointment to the Brooklyn assistant district attorney handling the case, who told the judge that “It does not appear from our view on the video that there was any innocent reason to drive over the curb.” However, the DA’s office has also decided not to pursue misdemeanor charges against Sewell for violating the city’s Right Of Way law.
The disappointment hit harder for Nicodemus’ family.
“It’s obviously preposterous and makes the family furious,” one of Nicodemus’ brothers, Peter Miller, told us. “So it comes as a complete shock that the judge refuses to continue the suspension. I’m livid and angry and literally beside myself. I wish there was something that I could do. I was under the impression that today’s hearing was just an exchange of information. Rest assured we are going to be reaching out to the DA and prosecutor to see if there is anything we can do about it.”
At a recent vigil in her honor. Miller had stated that “It’s not okay for 14 people to be killed on sidewalks this year. It’s not okay that we have cameras and will boot cars for parking tickets, but not [do anything about]no insurance or license. It should be a felony. It’s not okay. It’s not okay that taking a life is termed ‘just an accident.”
Sewell is due back in court on February 16. He is currently free without bail and only faces charges of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree and driving without a license. He faces a maximum penalty of a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail if convicted.