The trial for the driver in a crash two years ago in which Reb Nachman and Raizy Glauber, z”l, lost their lives, along with their prematurely-born baby, began Monday, with the defendant’s extensive rap sheet making a life sentence more likely.
Julio Acevedo was charged with manslaughter for crashing into the car service taking the Glaubers to the hospital.
Acevedo, then 44, was turning a corner in Williamsburg the day after Purim. While prosecutors suspect he was drunk, he fled the scene, abandoning his car a block away before making his escape. He did not turn himself in until several days later, making any sobriety conclusion difficult.
His lawyer claimed his client was not speeding or under the influence, and said the crash was an accident.
In opening arguments Monday, prosecutors estimated that Acevedo was going 70 mph. A key piece of evidence tying him to the crime was his fingerprints recovered from a bag of frozen rats in the BMW’s trunk, reportedly to feed a pet snake.
The tragedy shook the Jewish community, with thousands attending the double levayah.
“In the blink of an eye, a young family was wiped out,” assistant district attorney Tim Gough told the jury, according to the New York Post. “The driver of that BMW walked over to the Camry, looked inside, and walked away. He literally disappeared into the night … He left the occupants of that car there to die.”