MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that Great Neck man was arraigned today on grand jury indictment charges of Depraved Indifference Murder in the 2nd Degree for an August 2017 incident in which he allegedly drove with the victim on the hood of his car for more than a mile, reaching speeds of 60 mph, and crashing. The victim landed on the sidewalk and was pronounced dead several hours later.
Christian Arevalo, 19, was arraigned today before Acting Supreme Court Justice Teresa Corrigan on charges of:
- Murder in the 2nd Degree (an A-I felony)
- Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a C felony)
- Vehicular Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree (a D felony)
- Reckless Endangerment in the 1st Degree (a D Felony)
- Operating a Motor Vehicle under the Influence of Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor)
- Driving while Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs (an unclassified misdemeanor)
The defendant pleaded not guilty and bail was continued at $1 Million cash or bond. He is due back in court on January 9. If convicted of the top charge the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.
“It is incomprehensible that anyone would drive for more than a mile and at 60 miles per hour with a person on the hood of the car,” DA Singas said. “This alleged driving was depraved and senselessly took the life of a 20-year old young man.”
DA Singas said that on Friday, August 11, 2017, at approximately 8:40 pm, defendant Christian Arevalo and 20-year old victim Corey Howell were in an argument. During the argument, Arevalo allegedly drove a 2013 Nissan Altima toward Howell, and the victim jumped on the hood of the vehicle to avoid being struck. Howell continued to hold onto the vehicle as the defendant allegedly “zig-zagged” – in attempt to throw the victim off the car – and drove for more than a mile, reaching speeds of 60 mph down side streets and on Northern Boulevard in Great Neck.
The victim’s brother followed the Altima in a 2017 Cadillac and when the vehicles were on Cumberland Avenue in Great Neck, the defendant allegedly slammed on his brakes causing the Cadillac to strike the Altima. The crash sent the Altima onto the lawn of the Cumberland Adult Center, onto a semicircle driveway and the car finally struck a curb at the facility. The victim was thrown from the vehicle and landed on the sidewalk in front of the facility. The Cadillac was sent toward a residential property and crashed into the homeowner’s parked Nissan Rogue.
Howell was transported to North Shore University Hospital in critical condition and he was pronounced deceased at approximately 12:39 a.m.
The defendant was arrested by the Nassau County Police Department and was taken to Winthrop Hospital in Mineola. He was arraigned at the hospital on August 13.
Assistant District Attorneys Katie Zizza and Alexander DePalo of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting the case. Arevalo is represented by Brian Griffin, Esq. and Daniel Russo, Esq.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.