Poughkeepsie man gets 25 to life for crash that killed New Paltz woman

Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams, 29, of 28 May Street, Poughkeepsie, was sentenced today in Ulster County Court to 25 years to life in prison for his conviction for second-degree murder.

The case stems from an incident on July 1, 2018 which took place on Route 299 in the Town of Lloyd when the defendant, operating a Porsche Cayenne in speeds in excess of 128 mph, fled from a Town of Lloyd police officer. At the intersection of Route 299 and South Street in the Town of Lloyd the defendant crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a Ford 150 pickup truck, killing driver Danielle Pecoraro, 39, of New Paltz.  Pecoraro’s daughter, Mery Rosado, and a passenger in a vehicle following the pickup truck were seriously injured.

The defendant’s BAC at the time of the crash was .33.

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Prior to trial, prosecutors sought to have evidence that the defendant had been convicted of crimes committed while fleeing from a police officer on four previous occasions admitted, arguing that that information was relevant to the jury’s determination of whether the defendant was acting with depraved indifference to human life. However, the court ruled that the evidence of defendant’s previous fleeing form a police officer, though relevant, would be prejudicial to the defendant and the jury was not allowed to hear that proof.

At sentencing, Rosado, the oldest of Pecoraro’s four children, addressed the court. According to the DA’s office, she said: “Someone was going to die that day . . . the community lost a gem of a woman but I lost my best friend.  Why did I live and she die? I live everyday with the pain of losing my best friend.”

The defendant, who has not had a valid license to drive in NYS since 2011, stated in papers filed with the court prior to sentencing that he did not intend to injure anyone.

In his comments to the court, prosecuting attorney Joey Drillings stated “that the defendant acted with depraved indifference to human life in that he recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death. He acted with an utter disregard for the value of human life –  a willingness to act, not because he intended grievous harm to the person who was killed, but because he simply did not care whether or not grievous harm resulted.  He took a grossly unreasonable risk to human life and did not care how that risk turned out. His actions reflected a wicked, evil, inhumane state of mind, as manifested by his heinous and despicable acts.”

In handing down the life sentence County Court Judge Donald Williams stated to the defendant: “your action and conviction legally and morally rises to the same level as premeditated or intentional murder.”

Ryan Williams was represented by Carol Morgan, Esq. The case was prosecuted by Sr. Assistant District Attorneys Joey Drillings and Lisa Bondarenka.

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