RICHARD O’KEEFE PLEADS GUILTY TO CRIMINALLY NEGLIGENT HOMICIDE
Putnam County District Attorney Robert V. Tendy announced today that Richard O’Keefe pleaded guilty in Putnam County Court before the Honorable Edward Mcloughlin to Criminally Negligent Homicide, a class E felony.
State police investigation revealed that on November 14, 2015 O’Keefe, a retired Carmel Police Officer, was driving at an excessive rate of speed (between 52 and 58 mph) on Route 6 in the Town of Carmel. The Investigation determined O’Keefe had consumed multiple alcoholic beverages yielding an extrapolated blood –alcohol content to be 0.247% at the time of the collision.
The collision reconstruction report revealed that a second vehicle, driven by Anna Estrada, exited the Route 6 Plaza parking lot failing to yield to the right of way of the vehicle driven by O’Keefe and was struck by O’Keefe’s vehicle.
Ms. Estrada voluntarily consented to a chemical screening of her blood sample which yielded negative results for alcohol and or drugs.
The collision caused the vehicle driven by Ms. Estrada to roll on to its passenger side and collide with a third vehicle causing fatal injuries Frances Ghelarducci who was seated in the rear of the vehicle driven by Estrada.
Frances was a beloved wife, mother, and teacher aid at Primrose Elementary School and is missed dearly by all. DA Tendy expresses his sympathy to the Ghelarducci family and thanks them for their continued support.
“This was a very difficult investigation. Based on all the factors the defendant is expected to be sentenced to one year jail,” DA Tendy announced.
The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Chana Krauss.