After a two-week bench trial, State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho today convicted DWI defendant Christopher O’Brien of manslaughter in the second degree for driving drunk and killing an Aquebogue man in a head-on collision as O’Brien drove eastbound in the westbound lanes of Sunrise Highway in 2015, Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said.
Justice Camacho acquitted the Port Jefferson Station man of one charge of murder in the second degree by depraved indifference and multiple reckless endangerment charges.
In addition to the manslaughter charge, Justice Camacho convicted O’Brien of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, driving while intoxicated, driving while ability impaired by a drug (cocaine), driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of alcohol and cocaine, and reckless driving.
The victim, Thomas D’Eletto, 57, was driving his Toyota Corolla to work in Nassau County when he was killed in the Yaphank crash.
Suffolk County crime lab tests reported O’Brien’s blood-alcohol level at .17, more than twice the legal threshold of .08 for DWI. During the trial in Central Islip, witnesses testified that several motorists were forced from the roadway on the morning of Dec. 23, 2015 to avoid colliding with O’Brien.
O’Brien will face a maximum of up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced November 30.
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