Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of ROBERTO MERCADO, 52, to 1-to-3 years in state prison for fatally striking 61-year-old Jean Chambers with his car on the Upper West Side in July 2014. On November 13, 2015, MERCADO was convicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury of the sole count of the indictment against him, Criminally Negligent Homicide.
“Due to this defendant’s criminal negligence, a beloved artist, mother, wife, and community member is dead,” said District Attorney Vance. “Roberto Mercado’s driving record demonstrates a history of carelessness and illegal, dangerous conduct: in just over a six-month period in 2014, in three separate incidents, the defendant struck four people. I would like to thank the jurors for their service on this case, and to offer my sincere condolences to the family of Ms. Chambers. My Office will continue to investigate and prosecute vehicular crimes, as well as advocate for legislation that more strongly enables prosecutors to bring criminally reckless drivers to justice.”
As proven at trial, at approximately 11:00 a.m. on July 10, 2014, MERCADO made a left-hand turn in his 2004 Ford Expedition from West 95th Street onto West End Avenue. Though the defendant was traveling north, he entered West End Avenue’s southbound lanes. As MERCADO made the left-hand turn, he fatally struck Jean Chambers, who was crossing West 95th Street in the crosswalk. The defendant continued to drive northbound in the southbound lanes for approximately 85 feet, dragging the victim’s body, before a passerby alerted him to the victim’s presence. Ms. Chambers was taken to the hospital, where she died.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Pasinkoff handled the prosecution of this case with Assistant District Attorney Evan Krutoy, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Kerry O’Connell, Chief of Trial Bureau 80, and Executive Assistant District Attorneys David O’Keefe, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division; and John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Senior Rackets Investigators William Hicks and Miguel Cruz assisted with the case, as did Paralegal Ryan Yuffe.
District Attorney Vance thanked NYPD Detective Michael Sharpe for his assistance with the investigation.
ROBERTO MERCADO, D.O.B. 11/25/1963
- Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony, one count
- 1-to-3 years in state prison