By Harriet Alexander For Dailymail.com
03:42 18 Apr 2023, updated 03:55 18 Apr 2023
- Nauman Hussain owns a Prestige Limousine, the stretched Ford Excursion was the cause of the October 2018 crash that killed 20 people in Schoharie, New York
- Hussain runs an unlicensed limo service from his now-closed motel in Wilton: the limo’s brakes fail, killing the driver, passengers, and bystanders.
- He pleaded guilty to 20 counts of criminal negligent homicide in exchange for a sentence of five years’ probation, but a judge overturned that in August.
The owner of a New York limousine company whose vehicle failed to brake, killing 20 people, will appear in court in May after a judge rescinded his previous plea agreement.
Nauman Hussain runs an unlicensed limo company from a motel his family owns in the town of Wilton, 40 miles north of Albany.
On October 6, 2018, a group of friends celebrating a 30th birthday rented a limo – one of them texted her sister shortly before climbing into the car, saying the car ‘was in. in bad condition’.
Brakes failed at 60 mph, around 2 p.m., and the limo sped through an intersection near Schoharie, crashing into a ditch next to the Barrel Country Apple Store.
The driver, 17 passengers and two bystanders in the parking lot were killed. Among them were four sisters and their husbands.
Hussain accepted a plea agreement in September 2021, agreeing to five years’ probation and 1,000 hours of community service – an arrangement that the victims’ relatives found extremely lenient.
In August 2022, State Supreme Court Justice Peter Lynch annulled the plea agreement and forced Hussain to appear in court.
The trial will begin May 1 – despite a request from Lee Kindlon, Hussain’s attorney, to adjourn the trial for a week because his co-adviser, Joe Tacopina, is defending Donald Trump in the case. Stormy Daniels gag money. . The judge denied the request.
On Monday, Schoharie District Attorney Susan Mallery, an attorney for Hussain and Lynch, agreed that the trial would require a pool of 1,500 potential jurors — a number that represents 5% of Schoharie County’s population and for see how difficult it will be. is to find jurors in a rural area who were not affected in some way by the accident.
Kindlon, Hussain’s attorney, told Lynch: ‘I think finding a jury will be very difficult.’
Attorneys are expected to question 90 potential jurors each day as they try to build a 12-person panel to decide whether Hussain is responsible for the deadliest traffic disaster of the country for more than a decade or not.
Mallery told the judge on Monday that she would need to use up to 500 subpoenas to build the case, Alliance of the Ages report.
Mallery submitted a 900-page dossier about Hussain in which she outlined Hussain’s previous ‘bad deeds’ and asked the judge to allow her to use them at trial.
Lynch will make a decision in the next few weeks.
Hussain had more than 60 encounters with law enforcement, the paper reported, including parking tickets in a 2014 incident when Hussain and his brother Haris were accused of impersonating each other at a traffic stop.
Kindlon and his team are appealing Lynch’s original decision to revoke the plea agreement.
The case was complicated by Hussain’s father, Shahed Hussain, who was a longtime FBI counterterrorism informant with what the Times Union described as a ‘small business and criminal past’.
Questions have been raised as to whether the FBI’s Albany office is encouraging law enforcement to turn a blind eye to the limo business in protest of their sources.
Before the accident, Shahed Hussain had returned to his native Pakistan and has not been seen since.
The state Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Transportation have both been strongly criticized for allowing the limo to stay on the road.