Repeat Drunk Driver Pleads to Low-Level Felony for Killing Queens Pedestrian

A recidivist drunk driver who was charged with 10 felonies for killing a Queens pedestrian pled guilty to two low-level felony counts in a deal with District Attorney Richard Brown.

richardbrown
Queens DA Richard Brown

At around 4:30 a.m. on July 5, 2014, Romulo Mejia drove a Ford compact into a man who was walking at Roosevelt Avenue and 92nd Street in Jackson Heights, according to the Times Ledger.

Mejia then allegedly veered into oncoming traffic and crashed into an empty, parked car, according to the NYPD.

Police said Mejia refused to take a Breathalyzer or other sobriety field tests.

The victim died at the scene. His name and age were not reported.

Mejia, who was 42 at the time of the crash, is from Bradenton, Florida. Police told the Times Ledger he had a prior DWI conviction within the last 10 years. Court records indicate Mejia has been in jail since his arrest.

Brown charged Mejia with three counts of aggravated vehicular homicide, four counts of vehicular manslaughter, one count of criminally negligent homicide, one count of aggravated DWI, one felony count of operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, one misdemeanor count of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, and one misdemeanor count of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The top charge against Mejia was aggravated vehicular homicide with a blood alcohol content of .18 or more, a class B “non-violent” felony with sentences ranging from 1 to 25 years in jail. According to court records, this week Brown allowed Mejia to plead to one count of criminally negligent homicide and one count of aggravated DWI, both class E felonies.

Class E is the lowest felony category in New York State, with a maximum penalty of four years in jail and a minimum of probation with no jail time.

In the relatively rare instances when he brings a case, Richard Brown has a history of negotiating lenient sentences for drivers who kill people, even when they were driving drunk. Mejia is scheduled to be sentenced in October.

  • Jonathan R

    BAC of 0.18 is almost at point of loss of consciousness. Good to know I can drink myself into a literal stupor, get behind the wheel, KILL SOMEONE, and then get off possibly with only probation here in Queens.

  • ganghiscon

    Five days ago:

    A veteran NYPD highway cop was arrested for drunk driving after he drove into a guardrail and was discovered to have a blood alcohol level of .43, more than five times the legal limit.

    ….the Staten Island District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute at the time pending the results of a blood-alcohol test.

    http://gothamist.com/2015/09/20/nypd_highway_cop_arrested_for_drunk.php

  • neroden

    The real question is *will he lose his license*.

    Given the gross, criminal corruption of the DAs, I’m guessing they’ll have him back on the roads driving immediately.

  • Twice, remember, twice. First time’s a free bee right?

  • Alexander Vucelic

    but drive a bike the wrong way in the Holland Tunnel – away you go to spend a night in jail

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