Former Hempstead Public Safety officer Robert Core was found not guilty of manslaughter after his car in July of 2011, according to Newsday [paid link].
Core, 43, was found not guilty of first and second-degree manslaughter, but Judge Jerald Carter rendered a guilty verdict on aggravated drunken driving, which is a misdemeanor. He faces up to a year in prison at his Sept. 27 sentencing.
According to detectives, Core, of Hempstead, was responding to an emergency call in Levittown when he struck Eddie Albert Cotto, 50, of Lindenhurst, who was crossing southbound on Hempstead Turnpike in the vicinity of Franklin Avenue. Core was driving a Town of Hempstead Public Safety Vehicle.
Cotto, was pronounced dead at (NUMC) upon arrival, police said.
Cops later revealed that Core after impact with Cotto on the hood of his vehicle.
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Carter said in court that evidence presented in Core's two-week trial showed that Cotto had .26 percent alcohol in his blood as he crossed Hempstead Turnpike near Nassau University Medical Center. Carter said Cotto was seeking admission to the hospital's alcohol rehabilitation program, and had started drinking after being told by staff that he needed to be intoxicated to be admitted.
Shortly after Core's arrest, the Town of Hempstead from his post.
"Initially, they had considered suspending him," Mike Deery, a TOH spokesman, said. "Based on the actions he took on the evening in which he was intoxicated on the job, we think his dismissal was justified."
Cotto's fiancee, Diane Ware, told Newsday that she was disappointed in the verdict.
"What's to stop the next person from killing someone?" Ware said. "He [Core] is twice the legal limit for drinking alcohol and driving a car. Now another family's got to get destroyed."
A spokeswoman for NUMC declined to comment on the verdict.
Do you think the judge made the right decision? Tell us in the comments.