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Slap on the Wrist for Staten Island Pedestrian Killer

pakowkiller_advance.jpgJoseph Catrama, right, was speeding and ran a red light before killing Nathan Pakow as he waited for a bus in Ocean Breeze. Photos: Staten Island Advance

Joseph Catrama, the 19-year-old driver whose out-of-control Hyundai struck and killed Nathan Pakow at a Staten Island bus stop last February, will serve no more than six months in jail.

Catrama's sentence comes as the result of a plea agreement with District Attorney Daniel Donovan. The Advance reports:

[Catrama] admitted in state Supreme Court, St. George, [Friday] that he was speeding and ran the red light when he made the turn from Seaview Avenue onto Capodanno Boulevard.

He lost control of his 2008 Hyundai Sonata and ended up with all four tires on the sidewalk.

Pakow, 48, of Great Kills, was wedged between the car's front bumper and a metal pole holding the bus schedule and route information on Capodanno.

Catrama had been licensed for about a month when he killed Pakow, a 48-year-old father of two who had recently become a grandfather. He was charged with criminally negligent homicide. As part of his plea, Catrama will forfeit his license for his probationary period, set for up to five years.

"This plea guarantees that the defendant is held accountable for his actions and avoids the uncertainty of a jury trial," said Donovan spokesperson William J. Smith. Read: Given New York State's ridiculously lax laws against deadly driving, we did well to mete out any punishment for this crime at all.

Catrama is scheduled to be sentenced on March 12.

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