Williamsburg

Hit-and-run driver in Williamsburg convicted of manslaughter

September 26, 2017 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Juan Maldonado faces up to 15 years in prison after he was convicted for manslaughter related to a hit-and-run homicide in July 2016 in Williamsburg. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese

A 57-year-old man faces up to 15 years in prison after he was convicted of reckless manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident and reckless driving for a hit-and-run incident that took the life of a cyclist in Williamsburg, Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced on Monday.

Juan Maldonado was convicted in connection to the 2016 hit-and-run death of 35-year old Matthew von Ohlen, a bicycle advocate from Queens.

“The driver in this case engaged in the types of criminal actions I am determined to prosecute in Brooklyn in order to reduce fatalities on our roads and streets,” Gonzalez said. “The jury has now agreed that this was not an accident but a crime, and this defendant will be held responsible for his reckless behavior that cost an innocent man his life.”

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According to trial testimony, Maldonado hit von Ohlen on July 2, 2016 at 2:37 a.m. with his black Chevy Camaro near Grand Street and Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg.

A jury agreed with the DA’s claims that Maldonado swerved into the bike lane on Grand Street, sped through a red light and then struck von Ohlen. According to the evidence, Maldonado’s car dragged von Ohlen for at least 10-20 feet as he sped away.

The victim was then taken to Bellevue Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma.

According to a report by DNAinfo, Maldonado was fired from his job as a delivery driver for Certified Lumber in Williamsburg. In that report, a colleague claimed that he had missed several shifts and arrived for work intoxicated. During testimony at the trial, prosecutors noted that he also had two prior drunk driving arrests in Florida.

Maldonado is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 18 for sentencing in front of Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Mondo.

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