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Accused Drunk Driver Gets $1M Bail After Victim's Death, DA Says

By Serena Solomon | January 21, 2014 2:58pm
 Shaun Martin was held and had his bail increased following the death of Akkas Ali.
East Village Car Crash
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CIVIC CENTER — A man accused of mowing down an East Village bodega florist and several road signs after he veered off Second Avenue while driving drunk and high had his bail doubled  to $1 million on Tuesday following the recent death of the corner store worker.

Shaun Martin, 32, had his bail increased from $500,000 to $1 million, as prosecutors investigate the New Year's Day death of Akkas Ali, a bodega florist whom Martin had plowed over and left in a coma last June 19, the Manhattan District Attorney's office said.

Prosecutors requested that Martin be held without bail Tuesday, so they could determine whether to increase the charges against him, which currently include vehicular assault. But a judge decided to increase Martin's bail to $1 million instead, the DA's office said.

Following the crash, Martin was also charged with driving while high and intoxicated and criminal possession of a controlled substance.

It was not immediately clear if Martin was able to post bail.

Ali, 62, who suffered a major brain injury and broken bones, died of cardiac arrest at a rehabilitation center in Queens when a breathing tube fell from his throat, according to the medical examiner's report.

The death came as a shock to his family, who said Ali had made progress in his recovery, including sitting up, walking with assistance and attempting to communicate.

Martin was also out on bail for a separate incident that occurred in Queens in December, court and Department of Correction records show. He was charged with possession of a controlled substance and harassment for threatening to shoot someone, according to a criminal complaint from the Queens District Attorney’s office.

Martin's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment.