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Charles Hynes

Unlicensed Hit-and-Run Killer Gets Six Months for Death of Brooklyn Child

12:59 PM EST on November 27, 2012

An unlicensed driver who killed a 14-year-old child in Brooklyn will spend six months in jail and lose his license for a year.

Paul O. Griffin was driving a Ford work van on the evening of January 4, 2012, when he struck Davonte Jeffers on Flatlands Avenue. Griffin sped from the scene and refused a breath test when caught by police, according to the Daily News.

Jeffers was on an errand for his mother when he was hit, the News reported. He died at Kings County Hospital.

Police told the News that additional charges were pending, but Griffin was charged by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes only with aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a class D felony. He was not charged with manslaughter or homicide for killing Davonte Jeffers.

Facing up to seven years in jail, on November 19 Griffin was sentenced to six months, with five years probation, and fined $2000, according to court records. His license was revoked for one year.

It is not known if or when Griffin was administered an alcohol test, but -- given prosecutors' unwillingness to charge sober motorists for taking a life -- often the difference between a manslaughter charge and a slap on the wrist, or no criminal charges at all, is state law that permits suspected drunk drivers to withhold crucial blood evidence.

This fatal crash occurred in the 63rd Precinct. To voice your concerns about neighborhood traffic safety directly to Captain John Rowell, the commanding officer, go to the next precinct community council meeting. The 63rd Precinct council meetings happen at 8 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month at Kings Plaza Mall Community Room. Call 718-258-4444 for information.

The City Council district where Davonte Jeffers was killed is represented by Lew Fidler. To encourage Fidler to take action to improve street safety in his district and citywide, contact him at 212-788-7286 or

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