MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Prosecutors made their final bid to a Manhattan jury Wednesday to convict a postal worker charged with fleeing the scene after running over and killing the sister-in-law of prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz, showing the chilling surveillance video of the crash along with her mangled bike.
In the video, Ian Clement, 63, drives his seven-ton postal truck down West 29th Street in Chelsea as Marilyn Dershowitz rides her bike down the same street. The video shows Clement’s truck suddenly rocking back and forth after having hit Dershowitz.
Moments later, Clement pulls his truck to the left hand side of the road for roughly two minutes.
“The one thing you can see is the bump that the defendant feels as his truck rocks,” Assistant District Attorney Erin LaFarge said. “He stops because he feels the crunch of a human on a bicycle under his tires... It’s not a pothole. It’s not a garbage lid. It’s not a curb. He knew it was different than the things he rides over on a daily basis.”
A court officer then hoisted up Dershowitz’s battered silver bicycle and placed it in the middle of the court room. Its seat was pressed against the side of the frame and the rear basket warped.
Prosecutors say Clement, a 28-year veteran of the postal service, ignored honking horns and frantic passersby after he crushed and killed Dershowitz while she was riding with her husband Nathan Dershowitz down 29th Street near Ninth Avenue on July 2, 2011.
They added that he had every reason to know that something was wrong before fleeing the scene of an accident.
Clement's lawyer argued that his client was unaware that he was involved in the accident, adding that bumps and honking horns are routine along postal routes.
“How was he to know that the commotion had anything to do with him?” asked Clement’s attorney John Arlia. “A horn is not able to target your intended recipient.”
Arlia argued that Clement followed US Post Office procedure when he remained inside his vehicle after pulling over and added there was no way for him to know he was at fault because no one came to tell him.
Arlia also argued that the charges against his client would never have been brought if the victim hadn't been part of a well-connected political family.
“’Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out,’” Arlia said, quoting Sir Francis Bacon.
Clement could face three and a half to seven years in prison, if convicted.