Suffolk County, NY - March 9, 2017 - A 21 year old Wheatley Heights man pleaded guilty this afternoon during pretrial hearings to the top count of manslaughter in the second degree for recklessly causing a fatal crash at Colonial Springs Rd. and Little Neck Road in Melville in 2014, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Blood on the driver’s side door of the 2002 Chevrolet Camaro established that Brandon Charles was behind the wheel early on the morning of November 1 of 2014 when the speeding car skidded and flipped over, killing back seat passenger Carla Vanessa Flores, 19, of Wyandanch. Charles did not tell police at the crash scene that he was driving the vehicle owned by another passenger, Joseph Dunn of Dix Hills, 22, who was arrested for having a fraudulent New Jersey driver’s license.
Charles pleaded guilty in September of 2015 to a charge of manslaughter but the plea was vacated when his new defense attorney submitted a motion which was granted claiming ineffective assistance of counsel.
During today’s guilty plea, Charles waived his right to appeal and will be sentenced May 4 by State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho to three to nine years in prison.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.