NEW YORK, NY – Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 21-year-old man has been indicted for reckless manslaughter and other charges in connection with the death of a 50-year-old Brooklyn father. The driver was allegedly speeding in a sports car with worn out tires and a forged inspection sticker when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into Jose Barrera in front of the victim’s young daughter.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This horrific crash was no accident – it was a preventable crime that stemmed from reckless behavior before and during the collision. The defendant chose to drive a car he knew was not safe, allegedly sped on wet road conditions and took the life of a hard-working father. This is the first indictment obtained by my new Street Safety Bureau, which was created this summer to better address vehicular violence on our roadways. It will continue to thoroughly investigate and prosecute dangerous drivers when their unlawful actions cause traffic fatalities or injuries. I am determined to get justice for victims and to send a message that this conduct will not be tolerated in Brooklyn.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Kareem Denton, 21. He was arraigned on December 31, 2020 before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Raymond Rodriguez on a 16-count indictment in which is charged with second-degree manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, second- and third-degree assault, first-, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument and related charges. The defendant was ordered released without bail and to return to court on January 28, 2021. His driver license was suspended, and he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count with which he is charged.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, on July 11, 2020, on 39th Street in Borough Park, the defendant, allegedly driving over 60 mph in a 25 mph zone on a wet road, lost control of his Nissan 370Z and slammed into Jose Barrera, 50, killing him.
The victim was returning from grocery shopping and had just walked his 6-year-old daughter from his minivan to the curb seconds before the collision. His wife, who was still in the passenger seat, suffered minor injuries.
It is alleged that the defendant had dangerously worn out tires that likely contributed to the crash and that he allegedly knew about them. A mechanic had warned him about the bald tires, according to the investigation. Furthermore, the vehicle could not pass a New York State inspection and a forged inspection sticker was affixed to its windshield.
The District Attorney’s Street Safety Bureau was created last summer to assist in police investigations of traffic violence cases, with emphasis on protecting bicyclists and pedestrians, responding to scenes of serious collisions in real time and coordinating support services for victims and their families, among other duties.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel, of the District Attorney’s Street Safety Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Craig Esswein, Bureau Chief.