DA Vance: Shaun Martin Sentenced to 20 Years-to-Life in Prison for Deadly 2013 East Village Crash

November 4, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of SHAUN MARTIN, 35, to 20 years-to-life in state prison for crashing into an East Village grocery store with his car while under the influence of drugs, killing 62-year-old Mohammed Akkas Ali and seriously injuring two others. On July 20, 2016, MARTIN was convicted following a bench trial in New York State Supreme Court of all of the charges against him, including Murder in the Second Degree, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, and Assault and Reckless Endangerment in the First Degrees, among other charges. 

“Shaun Martin’s drug-fueled joy ride ended in tragedy as he swerved across Second Avenue, hopped the curb, and smacked into an East Village grocery store,” said District Attorney Vance. “Thanks to my Office’s prosecutors and members of the NYPD’s 9th Precinct, he will serve a prison sentence commensurate with his deadly conduct. Now, we must ensure that the murder of Mohammed Akkas Ali – and the injuries suffered by his co-workers and bystanders – will not be in vain. My Office will continue working to reduce traffic fatalities by holding criminal drivers accountable for the harm that they inflict.”

As proven at trial, at approximately 6:50 a.m. on June 19, 2013, MARTIN sped through the East Village in a white Nissan Altima, driving more than 50 miles per hour, while impaired by both phencyclidine, commonly referred to as PCP, and methamphetamine. Cutting across three lanes of traffic, MARTIN drove onto the sidewalk and struck a fire hydrant, a pay phone, a muni-meter, and a tree, before crashing the car into a flower stand attached to the East Village Farm and Grocery Store on the corner of East 4th Street and Second Avenue. MARTIN struck three of the store’s employees, including Mohammed Akkas Ali, who died as a result of injuries he suffered from the crash. In addition to the store’s employees, a man riding a bicycle was also injured by debris from the crash. 

Last month, in a separate, unrelated case, DANNY LIN was sentenced to state prison for fatally striking a 57-year-old man with his car on the Lower East Side.

Assistant District Attorney Harrison Schweiloch, Deputy Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, tried the case with Assistant District Attorney Constantine Coritsidis, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jill Hoexter, Chief of the Vehicular Crimes Unit, and William Mahoney, Chief of Trial Bureau 60, as well as Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorneys James Lin and Megan Joy provided assistance with the case, as did Vehicular Crimes Unit Coordinator Ashley Vogel, Paralegal Corey Matthews, and Detective Investigator Siobhan Berry. 

District Attorney Vance thanked the NYPD, particularly the officers of the 9th Precinct.

Defendant Information:

SHAUN MARTIN, D.O.B. 4/7/1981
Queens, NY

•    Murder in the Second Degree, a class A felony, 1 count
•    Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a class B felony, 2 counts
•    Assault in the First Degree, a class B felony, 2 counts
•    Aggravated Vehicular Assault, a class C felony, 4 counts
•    Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
•    Driving While Ability Impaired By Drugs, a class E felony, 2 counts
•    Driving While Ability Impaired By Combination of Drugs and Alcohol, a class E felony, 1 count
•    Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count
•    Assault in the Third Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count

•    20 years-to-life in state prison