Judge may give high driver longer sentence

October 20, 2010 7:59:26 PM PDT
A Riverhead man convicted of causing a 2008 crash that killed a Manorville father of three is scheduled to appear in Suffolk County court Thursday to find out if he'll be sentenced as a persistent felony offender.

A jury convicted John Licausi Jr., 50, in June of aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter and other charges. The defendant, driving high on cocaine, collided with Scott Foster's compact car after running a red light while fleeing police in Medford. Foster, 46, died of his injuries at a local hospital.

District Attorney Thomas Spota said because of the defendant's prior convictions for burglary, criminal possession of stolen property and forgery, Licausi will face a longer prison sentence.

"If he's found to be a persistent felony offender, the minimum sentence is 15 years to life," DA Spota said. 'If the court rules he is not a persistent felony offender, the maximum Licausi faces is 12 and one-half to 25 years." In addition to the two top counts, Licausi was found guilty of unlawfully fleeing a police officer in the first degree, reckless driving, three counts of failure to stop at a stop sign, two charges of failing to stop at a stop light and one count of speeding.