15-Day Maximum Sentence for Unlicensed Driver Who Killed Bronx Senior
An unlicensed driver who killed a pedestrian in the Bronx last year was charged with only a traffic infraction that carries a nominal fine and a maximum 15-day jail term.
Nabaali Cletus hit 82-year-old Manuel Verdesoto with a Volvo as the senior crossed White Plains Road at Watson Avenue on the evening of May 15, 2013, according to reports.
A photo from the scene showed two severe impact points to the destroyed windshield, and a dent in the hood, indicating that Verdesoto was thrown onto the vehicle with tremendous force. He died at Jacobi Hospital.
Police said Cletus, then 46, had a forged New York State photo ID and was not licensed to drive. Reports published soon after the crash said he was charged with possession of a forged instrument and driving without a license.
Cletus was not charged by NYPD or Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson for killing Verdesoto. Nor was he charged with aggravated unlicensed operation, a misdemeanor that normally serves as the default charge issued by city prosecutors when an unlicensed driver kills a pedestrian or cyclist.
Currently the sole charge against Cletus is operating a motor vehicle by an unlicensed driver, according to court records — an infraction that carries a maximum penalty of 15 days in jail and a $300 fine.
Court records say Cletus was in court most recently on July 24. He is scheduled for another court date in September.