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Ex-cop pleads guilty in fatal DWI crash

Accident killed NYPD colleague
January 23, 2008 10:27:30 AM PST
Twenty-two year-old former NYPD officer Danielle Baymack pleaded guilty to all charges in connection with a fatal DWI crash in September 2006, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced Wednesday. The crash killed Baymack's NYPD colleague, 24-year-old Marlene Rivera.

Standing before Judge Meryl Berkowitz, Baymack entered guilty pleas to felony charges of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter and misdemeanor DWI.

In exchange for her guilty pleas, Berkowitz promised to sentence Baymack to six months in jail and five years of probation. Baymack faced a maximum of 15 years in prison in connection with her guilty pleas.

In court Wednesday morning, the victim's mother and father said that they agreed with the judge's decision and that they forgave the defendant for her actions. Rice, however, said she is opposed to the agreement and believes Baymack should be forced to serve a significant prison sentence.

"While I proudly stand alongside and advocate for every victim that walks through this door, I have an additional responsibility to the community as a whole," she said. "I will continue to stand alongside this family, and I will respect their decision, but I will also continue the fight to hold drunk drivers who kill accountable for their actions. Drunk driving on Long Island is an epidemic and I won't stop until our streets are safe."

Rice said that in the early morning hours of Friday, September 22, 2006, Baymack and Rivera were traveling west on Sunrise Highway in Baymack's 2000 Mitsubishi Galant. Near the Wantagh State Parkway in Wantagh, Baymack's car left the roadway traveling more than 50 miles per hour before careening onto a guardrail and slamming into a sign post.

Rivera, sitting in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead a short time later by hospital staff at Nassau University Medical Center. A blood sample taken at Nassau University Medical Center indicated that Baymack's blood-alcohol concentration was .11.

Berkowitz remanded the defendant to the Nassau County Jail, where she awaits her March 7 sentencing.


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