Local News

Man convicted in alcohol-related death faces new charges

Posted May 26, 2009
Updated June 19, 2014

— A man who told a judge he would speak about the dangers of drinking and driving after pleading guilty in the alcohol-related death of a friend was arrested Tuesday on a new alcohol-related charge.

Christopher John Palmeri, 20, of 1920 High Holly Lane, Raleigh, was convicted in August 2007 of involuntary manslaughter and drunken-driving in the Jan. 14, 2007, death of Sadiki Young, 18.

Christopher Palmari Man faces alcohol-related charge

Young, a Wakefield High School senior, died when the car he was riding in with Palmeri and another friend went off a road and tumbled down an embankment.

Palmeri was sentenced to 16 to 20 months in prison, with all but five months suspended, placed on five years' probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service.

According to citations, Palmeri was arrested Tuesday morning on charges of misdemeanor larceny, second-degree trespassing and possession of an alcohol by a person less than 21 years old.

A citation alleges that Palmeri stole three cases of beer from a Harris Teeter in north Raleigh around 6 a.m. He was arrested and taken to the Wake County jail, where he was released on a $1,000 bond.

Palmeri had no comment when he was released late Tuesday morning.

Three other people were charged in connection with the same incident, police said, Their names and the charges they face were not immediately available Tuesday afternoon since incident reports were not complete.

Young's mother, Rosemarie Newman, said Tuesday afternoon she was "very sad and disappointed" to hear about the latest charges against Palmeri. She said she wishes he had taken the opportunity the court gave him to start over and be a "good example."

"My family is still reeling from the havoc the loss of my son has created," she said. "Sadly, the Palmeris have lost someone too, because that's not the person they raised."

Raleigh investigators said Palmeri had been drinking at a party on the night of Jan. 13, 2007, and was driving an estimated 72 mph in a 35-mph zone when he lost control of his car. Young died at the scene. Palmeri and another person suffered minor injuries.

At the time, Young's death marked the sixth time a Wakefield High student died in a car accident. Part of the state's and Young's family's willingness to accept a plea deal from Palmeri centered on his pledge to change his life.

"I think, if I do not go to prison, I can make a difference. I can further my education, (do) public speaking at schools and help prevent accidents like this from happening again," Palmeri told Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens at the time.

Wake County Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cruden said that although the latest charges are misdemeanors, a conviction could mean Palmeri's probation being revoked.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • mewuvbb May 26, 2009

    Okay Let's vote again for liquor by the drink, oh! forgot we did and it passed..will not be able to smoke in the bar though with that drink, if he would have had a bag of dope he would be already in the big house, but he killed someone by drinking alcohol slap on the hand..what is wrong with this picture Perdue

  • APXmom May 26, 2009

    OK- why are we bashing the parents- Maybe they are reaping what they sowed, or maybe this kid is just bad. I am one of four kids, all the same genetics, home environment, educational benefits, challenges, etc. Why did 3 of us 'toe the line' while the other totally acted out with drugs and booze? I don't know. I do feel for the parents- it must be very painful to see your child ruining their life after ending another's. That said, this man will serve out his sentence since he violated probation- and likely will have additional time if he is convicted of the new charges. As it should be. Maybe first offenders won't get off so easy in the future- here's hoping.

  • amyrn May 26, 2009

    Good point, middle of the road, it was an "alcohol related" offense. He stole alcohol. The headline made it sound as if he was caught drinking again. In any case, even if being in jail five years only keeps him sober five years, that's five years he won't be a danger on the highway or five years he won't be stealing.

  • Adelinthe May 26, 2009

    From the video of his first trial, he looked like he had Judge Stephens.

    Stephens will throw the book at him now, cause that judge, while fair and just, is no one's fool.

    God bless.


  • jeriwho May 26, 2009

    Our legal system will not happy until this drunk kills a second person. His but needs to be sitting sober in jail, right now.

  • familyfour May 26, 2009

    Oh, he didn't get charged with dwi cause he hadn't the time to consume his thefted items and drive long enough afterwards. he looks pretty plastered in his pic.

    Who's in charge of making sure he does community service? Did anyone check up on him since he's on probation?

    Something as deadly as driving while impaired certainly deserves more than a slap on the wrist.

  • scarletindurham May 26, 2009

    throw the book at him!!!!!!!!!!

  • jlh4jdj May 26, 2009

    Middle of the Road-I hope your comment was an example of a joke. You think that taking a bomb and driving it down the road and killing someone is not a violent act? He clearly has not learned from this so he needs to go away for a long time and maybe he will learn. He has no respect for anyone else. If he hit you or someone you loved you would think him violent. How about the fact that his next robbery may have a gun?

  • foetine May 26, 2009

    he is responsible for a death and someone thinks all he needs is a whoopin' from his parents.

    Life is cheap in North Carolina

  • colliedave May 26, 2009

    He hasn't learned his lesson, time to revoke his "Get Out of Jail Free" card.