It makes a sort of twisted sense that Allmir Lekperic would try to find a way to wiggle out. Lekperic, 26, was driving with a suspended license when he allegedly struck and killed an elderly Staten Island couple on their way to Thanksgiving Eve mass carrying canned goods for a church food drive.
Lekperic, who had 28 previous suspensions in the past three years, fled the scene in the white Econoline van he used for his home improvement business, which was also unlicensed. His current suspension was for not answering a summons in September.
None of that argues a firm grasp of consequences.
Apparently, one of the people sheltering his disconnect from the harsh realities is his sister, schoolteacher Mirsada Nikezi, who was arrested for trying to give him an alibi. Lekperic, for his part, was already out on $50,000 bail.
Lekperic ditched the van and seemingly convinced his sister to tell police that it was stolen before the accident, but then turned himself in the following morning. According to the criminal complaint, he told police “I’m here in regards to the accident. I was in an accident earlier and I know where the van is. It’s by Wagner High School, on the corner. It’s a white van.”
He was arraigned on Thursday in Brooklyn and charged with two counts of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, a felony with a seven year maximum sentence, and aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle in the third degree, a misdemeanor. A spokesman for District Attorney Daniel Donovan said that other charges may be brought as the investigation continues. For some reason, Lekperic chose to attend his Thanksgiving arraignment in track pants and a t-shirt which read “Adrenaline Rush.”
His sister, who was arraigned the following day, is charged with misdemeanor falsely reporting an incident in the third degree. The DA’s spokesman said she too may face additional charges. She was released on her own recognizance. The father-and-son lawyers representing the pair, John Murphy II and John Murphy III, both emphasized the presumption of innocence.
Ironically, the pastor and school principal of Our Lady Queen of Peace, the church Peter Sabados 78, and his wife Lillian, 77, attended five times a week, had a meeting with two representatives of the Department of Transportation hours before the accident to discuss dangerous traffic conditions on the street where the two were killed. The Rev. Pancrose Kalist said that he and Theresa Signorile requested that the DOT install a camera to deter drivers who blow through the light at the corner of 3d Street and New Dorp Lane.
The funeral for Mr. and Mrs. Sabados will be held Monday morning at Our Lady Queen of Peace, followed by burial at Resurrection Cemetery.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 28, 2009