Kevin Spellman turns down plea deal
By Kate Pastor
Det. Kevin Spellman, who is accused of striking and killing 66-year-old Kingsbridge resident Drane Nikac with his car while driving drunk on Oct. 30, 2009, did not accept a plea deal that was offered to him Oct. 18.
After meeting with members of Ms. Nikac’s family, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office offered Mr. Spellman a deal, which is still on the table.
"Nothing's ever final," Peter Brill, Mr. Spellman's defense attorney, said on Oct. 18.
Outside the courtroom, members of Ms. Nikac's family seemed upset as Assistant District Attorney James Goward explained that Mr. Spellman had turned down the deal.
"The family was dissapointed that the trial will continue on," said civil attorney Rosemarie Arnold. "Really they just want closure."
It is unclear what the details of the plea deal were. Mr. Brill said it was "slightly better" than what was offered before the trial began.
On Wednesday, family members sobbed as the prosecution laid out how Ms. Nikac was killed while crossing Kingsbridge Avenue by Det. Spellman, an inebriated detective who blew a red light and sent her flying into the air to her death.
"She didn't have a chance against that car and she didn't have a chance against the driver that was operating it," said Robert Caliendo of the Bronx District Attorney's Office.
Mr. Spellman is a Riverdale resident; Ms. Nikac lived in Kingsbridge.
The prosecution rehashed how after refusing a breathalyzer test, Mr. Spellman had his blood tested in a hospital hours later and the results showed his blood alcohol content was almost three times the legal limit.
Mr. Brill, Mr. Spellman's lawyer who has worked extensively with the NYPD, laid out his case, which seeks to prove that Mr. Spellman was not drunk at all but was rather the victim of a malfunctioning blood-testing machine. He also said he would challenge the single eyewitness who would testify that Mr. Spellman ran a red light. The defense plans to introduce evidence that Ms. Nikac's failing health may have played a role in the crash that killed her.
That line of defense began when the first witness to the aftermath of the crash took the stand.