DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The driver in a fatal Fort Greene crash that killed 30-year-old Victoria Nicodemus gave tearful testimony during his trial Monday for second-degree manslaughter, the New York Post reported — though her brother isn't buying his story.
Marlon Sewell took the stand to tell the jury his side of the story in the Fulton Street collision, which killed Nicodemus and injured two others.
Sewell said through tears that he remembered “hitting Ms. Nicodemus, but I don’t remember driving over her or dragging her, as you say I did,” according to the Post.
“I remember hitting her and then everything got bad,” he said.
The newspaper also said he denied blacking out or smelling gas prior to the crash. Multiple witnesses for the prosecution have testified that Sewell’s Chevy Suburban was unfit to drive and leaking gasoline; prosecutors say gas fumes caused Sewell to pass out and crash the car.
Nicodemus’ brother Hank Miller attended the trial Monday with his mother and siblings and told DNAinfo New York that Sewell’s testimony — and his explanation that the crash happened because he swerved to avoid a car and city bus — was “absolutely inconsistent” with surveillance footage of the incident.
“There was no car to avoid, no bus to avoid,” he said. “He was asleep at the switch and his testimony was just unbelievable in context with the video.”
The footage of the crash was shown during the trial last week when the NYPD’s lead investigator, Detective Frank Passarella, testified that the SUV appeared unmanned in the moments before the crash and “no evasive action was taken” by Sewell as he veered toward Nicodemus.
Passarella also recounted how Sewell told officers fumes inside the vehicle had caused him to pass out just before he sideswiped a tractor trailer in the Bronx about a month prior to the December 2015 crash in Fort Greene.
Sewell’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the testimony Monday.
Judge Vincent Del Guidice is set to charge the jury on Tuesday to begin deliberations to reach a verdict, Miller said. Sewell faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the manslaughter charge.