Hauppauge (WALK) - If you ran someone down with your car and left them for dead in the street, how much jail time do you think you'd get? Maybe not as much as you think, according to the district attorney in Suffolk.
Tom Spota is renewing his call for tougher hit-and-run penalties as a Middle Island man faces sentencing today in the death of a pedestrian in downtown Riverhead last December. Joseph Plummer, 49, recently pleaded guilty to striking the victim as he crossed East Main Street, on his way to his 50th birthday celebration at a local restaurant.
Plummer, who claimed he didn't know what he'd hit and drove all the way home to Middle Island with a broken windshield, faces only 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison. That's the maximum sentence under the law, and it's what prosecutors are recommending, Spota says.
“As I have said repeatedly this year, the penalty for a hit and run must be increased in the State of New York to at least a maximum of 15 years in state prison,” Spota said. "Today, to leave the scene of the accident actually results in a lesser punishment than if a driver involved was found at the scene by police to be driving under the influence.”
According to Spota, Riverhead police found the car that struck the victim, hidden under a swimming pool tarp outside Plummer's home. He was arrested 5 days after the hit-and-run.