Brooklyn, New York
September 27, 2009
Agencies: New York Police Department NYPD
Cause of death: Vehicular
Last updated: about 3 years ago
An off-duty police officer who struck and killed a woman in Brooklyn in 2009 pleaded guilty on Wednesday to second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and is expected to serve 90 days in jail — far less than the seven-year maximum sentence he had faced.
Yet in agreeing to plead guilty, the officer, Andrew Kelly, also admitted that he was intoxicated when he struck and killed Vionique Valnord-Kassime, 32, who had just left a wedding reception and was hailing a taxi.
That admission and Mr. Kelly’s overall acceptance of guilt were enough to satisfy Ms. Valnord-Kassime’s family.
“My daughter’s memory is still in my head,” Ms. Valnord-Kassime’s father, the Rev. Varius Valnord, said. “All I needed was for him to take responsibility, and he took responsibility.”
Mr. Kelly, 31, made no statements in State Supreme Court in Brooklyn, and did not address reporters. But after he entered his guilty plea, he approached Mr. Valnord, who was in the courtroom with his daughter’s husband, Seni Kassime. Mr. Valnord and Mr. Kelly spoke briefly and shook hands.