FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 16, 2022
Brooklyn Man Sentenced for Causing Motorcyclist’s Death
While Driving Under the Influence and Speeding
Defendant and His Girlfriend Told Police That She was Driving at the Time of the Collision
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brooklyn man has been sentenced to 3 ½ to 10 years in prison following his guilty plea to manslaughter for speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol, then slamming into a motorcyclist at an intersection in Kensington, Brooklyn, killing him. The defendant and his girlfriend initially told the police that she was driving.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant’s recklessness robbed an innocent young father of his life, leaving a family devastated and a community in mourning. There is no excuse for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and I am committed to holding accountable anyone who compromises the safety of Brooklyn’s streets.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Christopher Diaz, 26, of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Raymond Rodriguez to 3 ½ to 10 years in prison. The defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and impaired driving on April 26, 2022.
The defendant’s girlfriend, Jasmin Morales-Cruz, 26, of Homecrest, Brooklyn, was charged in connection to lying and pleaded guilty. Her sentence is pending.
The District Attorney said that on May 27, 2019, at about 3:55 a.m., Diaz was driving a 2014 black Infinity Q50 sedan registered to Morales-Cruz, northbound on Ocean Parkway, near Beverley Road in Kensington, Brooklyn. The investigation found that as Evvon Alexander, 28, was traveling southbound on a motorcycle and was attempting to turn onto Beverley Road from the turning lane, he was struck by the defendant, who was traveling at more than 80 miles per hour in a 25 mile per hour zone and was under the influence of alcohol. The motorcycle was struck with such force that it split in half. The victim was thrown into the air, over the median between the main parkway and the service road and landed between parked cars on the service road. He was declared dead at Maimonides Hospital.
When police arrived, the defendant and Morales-Cruz both claimed that she had been driving. Their two passengers also said Morales-Cruz was driving, but days later admitted that Diaz was driving and had asked them to lie. Because of the alleged conspiracy claiming that Morales-Cruz was the driver, Diaz’s blood alcohol level was not tested, though he later admitted, during the course of the investigation, that he had consumed six to eight beers.
A lengthy investigation led to the recovery of videotape surveillance of the defendants and their passengers drinking at three different bars before the collision and showing Diaz getting into the driver’s seat shortly before the collision. Text messages asking the passengers to lie to authorities about who was driving were also recovered. Other evidence allegedly shows that the defendant accelerated from 65 mph to 83 mph seconds before the crash and applied the brakes just a half-second before impact. He was eventually arrested after being found hiding in his girlfriend’s closet.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective Corey Fenley of the Collision Investigation Squad.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jacob Uriel, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Street Safety Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Christopher Velez, of the District Attorney’s Grey Zone Trial Bureau.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and not proof of a defendant’s guilt.