NEW YORK (AP) — A driver pleaded not guilty to three counts of manslaughter on Thursday in a crash that killed a pregnant woman and her husband. The couple's premature baby was delivered after the wreck but died as well.
Julio Acevedo also pleaded not guilty Thursday to criminally negligent homicide. A lesser charge, announced earlier this month, accuses him of leaving the scene of the accident in Brooklyn. He could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors say Acevedo was traveling nearly 70 miles per hour — more than twice the speed limit — on March 3 when he crashed into a hired car carrying Nachman and Raizy Glauber, who were on their way to a hospital because she wasn't feeling well.
Firefighter and civilian witnesses described Acevedo driving a borrowed BMW recklessly and accelerating as he passed their vehicles and rounded a curve moments before impact, prosecutors said.
Good Samaritans who stopped to help the victims told investigators that Acevedo assured them he wasn't hurt. Prosecutors say he slipped away on foot, fully aware of the carnage.
The Glaubers, both 21, died that day. Their son, delivered by cesarean section, died a day later.
The deaths left the couple's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn grief-stricken and touched off an intense manhunt for the 44-year-old suspect, who served time in the 1990s for a shooting conviction. He surrendered in Bethlehem, Pa., after five days on the run.
Acevedo's family has described him as a dedicated family man who quit his job to become a stay-at-home father. His mother told the Daily News he's "not the monster they're portraying him to be."
Acevedo is being held without bail. His next court appearance will be in May.