East Islip, NY - August 3, 2016 - An East Islip man faces up to eight years in prison following his conviction Tuesday (8/2) on charges of leaving the scene of a crash and tampering with evidence, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
After a five day trial and approximately four hours of deliberations, a jury yesterday convicted Charles Santjer of East Islip.
Santjer, 58, struck a pedestrian, Jimmy Rice, 50, of Brentwood, who was crossing Carleton Avenue in East Islip around 3:30 on the morning of April 4, 2015.
During the course of the investigation, Suffolk County police detectives matched a headlight lens cover found at the crash scene to the defendant’s 1999 Ford F-150 pickup. Santjer told investigators he had thrown away what was left of his damaged headlight. The defendant was arrested by police in June of last year.
Mr. Rice suffered severe head trauma and continues to cope with the consequences of his brain injuries.
Suffolk County Judge Timothy Mazzei scheduled sentencing for Santjer on September 28 in Riverhead. The defendant is free on $25,000 bail.
A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.