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Nearly a year after indictment, Costello case still in limbo

01/15/2016 6:00 AM |

Costello

Nearly one year after a grand jury indicted John Costello on a vehicular manslaughter charge, the Greenport businessman still awaits a trial date. 

State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho said during a conference in Central Islip Thursday that a report from investigators reconstructing the fatal crash is still outstanding.

The judge said he hopes the report will be available in February, when Mr. Costello is due to return to court.

Mr. Costello was allegedly driving drunk in a 2008 Chevy pickup truck eastbound on Main Road in Greenport shortly before 7 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 5, 2014 when he crossed into the westbound lane and hit an oncoming 2006 Honda driven by 22-year-old Oseas Ramirez, according to the police accident report.

Bartolone Miguel in an undated courtesy photo.

Bartolone Miguel in an undated courtesy photo.

Bartolone Miguel, 32, and also of Peconic, was riding in the passenger seat and was taken to Eastern Long Island Hospital, where he later died of his injuries. Mr. Miguel, a Guatemalan native, worked as a crew leader in the vineyard at Pellegrini Winery & Vineyard in Cutchogue for six years before his death.

Mr. Costello, the owner of Costello Marine Contracting, was initially charged only with driving while intoxicated but was later arraigned on grand jury charges of vehicular manslaughter, a felony; two more felony charges for recklessly causing death; and three misdemeanor charges, two related to driving drunk and a traffic infraction.

Mr. Costello's pickup truck following the Dec. 2014 fatal crash in Greenport. (Credit: AJ Ryan, Stringer News Service)

Mr. Costello’s pickup truck following the Dec. 2014 fatal crash in Greenport. (Credit: AJ Ryan, Stringer News Service)

Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Miller has said Mr. Costello’s blood alcohol content at the time of the crash was 0.17 — just more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

Mr. Costello, who remains free on $50,000 bond, faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted of the top charge.

Last July, Judge Camacho dismissed a motion by the defense to dismiss the grand jury charges, saying the court found no irregularities with the way the grand jury proceedings were handled, according to the judge’s decision on the motion.

Top Caption: John Costello is led out of court Dec. 16. (Credit: Carrie Miller file photo)

With Jen Nuzzo

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