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Hicksville Man Captured in Panama for 2001 Hit-and-Run Death

80-year-old victim was run down on Post Avenue in Westbury.

An international manhunt has led to the arrest of a former Hicksville man wanted in the gruesome 2001 hit-and-run murder of an 80-year-old woman in Westbury.

Sebastian Barba, 34, formerly of Hicksville, has been captured in Panama and returned to the United States for trial. He faces second-degree murder and leaving the scene of an incident and faces up to 25 years to life if convicted, said Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

Barba was ordered held without bail and is due to return to court Wednesday.

Barba was driving a 1995 Cadillac when he ran down Jean Renison on Feb. 6, 2001, as she crossed Post Avenue at Maple Avenue, Rice said.

The force of the collision threw Renison onto the hood of the vehicle, but Barba then applied the brakes, causing the victim to fall to the ground in front of the vehicle.

The gruesome vehicular attack continued: Barba is accused of slowly driving over the victim’s chest with the front tires and her head with the back tires while a witness screamed at him to stop, Rice said.

Barba sped away from the scene and then fled to Ecuador, where he has dual citizenship. A grand jury indicted him shortly thereafter and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Barba was later featured on a May 2005 episode of America’s Most Wanted.

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“Sebastian Barba’s cowardice kept him hidden for more than 11 years, but due to the collaborative efforts of the government bodies and law enforcement agencies involved in this manhunt, the family of Jean Renison will finally get the justice they have been waiting for,” Rice said.

Barba was detained by local authorities in Panama when his connecting flight to Ecuador from the Dominican Republic was held by the order of INTERPOL.

He was escorted back to the United States Friday, Nov. 9, by Panamanian officers and U.S. Marshals.

“Law enforcement has a very long memory..." said Rice, who thanked Nassau Police Det. Gary Ferrucci, a 43-year veteran ,who has worked the case from the beginning.

Numerous international agencies were involved in the arrest, including the U.S State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Panama City, the Panama City Police and the Servicio Nacional de Migracion in Panama.

Barba is represented by Jonathan Marks.

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Tom January 25, 2013 at 09:17 PM
A criminal is one who breaks the law. He killed someone, which is against the law. He is not only a criminal, he is a killer. Family and friends of Sebastian Barba, you are in denial.
Alison Beede January 25, 2013 at 09:28 PM
No matter how much money he gave to the church, he was not one eighth of the person the victim was. I cannot emphasize enough what a good person she was. Jean AKA Babby was selfless, dependable, very positive, sharp, and had a good sense of humor. Before she died she was totally independent and in great health. Although she was a retired teacher she was also regarded as a Westbury historian and volunteered at the Historical Society of Westbury. She was very close with her family and played a big part in raising my mother, aunt, and uncle. She was active in her church (St Brigid's) and in caring for her aunt until her death just five months before her own death. We were very shocked and devastated when she was killed because it was our belief that should would have at least lived well into her nineties or possibly live to be over a hundred. She was very youthful for her age: the last time I saw her (around two weeks before her murder) she was shopping around for a computer. It is SO distasteful that his friends and family members are bombarding this board trying to sell the fact that he is a good man and effect the jury pool. I'm sorry but "giving jobs" is not a good deed. It is a neutral deed. It's just capitalism. It makes me sick that he gave an interview to drum up sympathy. Our family member is dead because of him!
Maura Beede January 27, 2013 at 12:55 AM
I suspect that many of the supportive comments are written by the same individual. The phrasing, punctuation and gramatical errors are the same in multiple comments allegedly written by different individuals. I just wanted you to know that we noticed.
Jeanne Renison February 14, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Jeanne Renison As a member of Babby's family, I must add how devastating her death was to all of us. Babby spent her life helping others and was loved by all who knew her. She was the epitome of kindness, generosity, and gentleness. She was also one of the most intelligent people I have ever met, and used her gifts in the military, as a teacher, historian & scholar. As a Catholic family, we know she is with her Maker, and her suffering is over, but I cannot help thinking that she would still be with us if Sebastian had not driven over her a second time. She might have lived. Also, he had enough smarts to flee the country immediately and to hide out for 11 years, instead of manning up to his mistake. I do feel sorry for his wife & children, but he committed a crime and must take the consequences. We do not seek revenge, but justice. I will pray for him & his family & let the courts decide.
Andrea A March 31, 2013 at 02:46 AM
I went to school with Sebastian and I am deeply disgusted by his actions. Unlike his family, I am not surprised by his actions (he was an arrogant teenager). This is the kind of irresponsible and cowardly behavior is typical of the ruling class in Ecuador to which he belongs. They believe money entitles them to different set of laws and regulations or they are above the law altogether. I am deeply sorry for the family of the victim.

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