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DA: Sentence too light for Baldwin hit-and-run driver who left pedestrian for dead

May 12, 2015
FIOS1 Long Island


Dan Prochilo

A Baldwin man received the maximum prison sentence Tuesday in a drug- and alcohol-induced hit-and-run that killed a 49-year-old man, but the Nassau County district attorney said the punishment was not tough enough.

Cosmin Florea, 34, was sentenced to two-and-a-third to seven years in prison in the killing of Donald Mooney, of Lynbrook, according to Acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

The DA called on lawmakers to revise sentencing guidelines to allow for stiffer penalties against drivers who flee from car crashes.

"Mr. Mooney was just crossing the street when he was run down and left for dead by an impaired driver," Singas said. "Today I join the Mooney family in calling for the Legislature to finally increase the penalties to a maximum of 5 to 15 years for these cases so the law doesn't work to encourage drivers to leave.”

Authorities said Florea pleaded guilty in March to vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, driving while intoxicated and driving while impaired by alcohol and drugs.

According to investigators, Florea was driving a 2010 Ford Fusion when he struck Mooney on Aug. 15, 2014, at about midnight. Mooney was walking across Main Street west of South Bayles Avenue in Port Washington when he was hit.

The victim was taken to North Shore University Hospital, where he died.

Police said Florea left the scene but was stopped in Queens by an NYPD officer, who noticed that his vehicle's windshield was damaged.

Prosecutors said the driver initially claimed he had struck a deer, but when he pleaded guilty Florea admitted he had alcohol and marijuana in his blood for over three hours after the crash.