Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Kassun Brown has been charged with manslaughter and drunk driving in connection with a fatal car crash in St. Albans. Brown is accused of speeding through a stop sign and hitting another vehicle, killing its driver, a police officer from the 63rd Precinct.

District Attorney Katz said: “There is nothing more irresponsible and selfish than getting behind the wheel and driving under the influence. Everyone with whom we share the road deserves our respect and consideration and has every right to reach their destination safely. The defendant is alleged to have been driving while intoxicated and will be held to account for the tragic consequences of that decision, the senseless death of an NYPD officer.”

Brown, 31, of Springfield Gardens, was arraigned on an indictment charging him with manslaughter in the second degree, assault in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and failing to stop at a stop sign. Justice Michael Aloise ordered the defendant to return to court on April 26. If convicted, Brown faces up to 7 ½ to 15 years in prison.

According to the charges, on Friday, January 17, 2020, at approximately 11:58 p.m. Brown was allegedly driving a 2006 Nissan Maxima when he struck a vehicle at the intersection of Nashville Boulevard and Lucas Street in St. Albans. Video surveillance footage shows the car was proceeding southbound on Nashville Boulevard at a high rate of speed past a stop sign. The defendant’s car strikes a Nissan sedan travelling westbound on Lucas Street pushing the victim’s car into a clockwise spin before it hits two parked cars. The defendant’s car then veers southwest into a telephone pole.

Medical responders transported the gravely injured driver, 34-year-old Police Officer Michael Ellis of St. Albans, to a local hospital for treatment of traumatic brain injury, a broken neck and facial fractures. Officer Ellis, of the 63rd Precinct in Brooklyn, died weeks later, on February 27. Brown was also transported to a local hospital after the collision for treatment of a dislocated right ankle. A man who was a passenger in Brown’s car was transported to a hospital for treatment of fractured femur.

Assistant District Attorney Hugh McCann, of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau, is prosecuting the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Xhulia Derhemi, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Mark Osnowitz, Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Supreme Court Trials Pishoy Yacoub.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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