A Suffolk judge revoked a plea deal Monday for Thomas Costa, 32, from Coram who was arrested after being charged in connection with the death of a jogger who was taken off life support three weeks after the accident.
Back in July, Costa was driving a 2001 BMW on June 23, when authorities said he was speeding and struck Karen Benjamin, a nurse’s assistant from Coram and mother of two. Costas fled the scene leaving Benjamin fatally wounded.
Now, almost six months later, the judge revoked a plea deal that would have put Costa in jail for no more than two to six years in prison after he pleaded guilty. According to Newsday, that didn’t fly with the State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho.
“Costa lied to a probation officer about his criminal history, said he “kind of stopped” after the impact and yet declined knowing he’d hit Karen Benjamin…even though he admitted to that in court last month,” said the judge to Newsday. “I am not prepared to proceed with the promise I made,” Camacho told Costa. “There will be a trial.”
One of Benjamin’s daughters spoke to the newspaper and said she knows this will be a long journey having to sit in trial for weeks, but it will be worth it. “My mother would do the same thing. For our family, this is the best possible decision.”
The Assistant District Attorney Patricia Brosco said when this goes to trial she will be seeing the maximum sentence, which carries a penalty of anywhere between 5 to 15 years.