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Man convicted in Raleigh teen's 2007 auto death faces probation violation

Posted February 14, 2013

— A Raleigh man convicted in a fatal drunken-driving case more than five years ago was arrested Thursday for allegedly violating terms of his probation after he tested positive for illegal drugs.

Christopher John Palmeri, 24, of 1920 Holly Lane, was charged with one count of felony probation violation after, according to court documents, he tested positive on Wednesday for marijuana and opiates and admitted to his probation officer that he had used marijuana and heroin and had previously taken Vicodin without a prescription.

Palmeri, who was jailed under a $200,000 bond, is serving five years' probation as part of his sentence in the January 2007 death of Sadiki Ayize Young, 18, a Wakefield High School senior who died when the car Palmeri was driving went off an embankment in north Raleigh.

Investigators said Palmeri had been drinking and was traveling 72 mph in a 35 mph speed zone at the time of the wreck. Young was one of two passengers in the car.

In August 2007, Palmeri, 18 at the time, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving and was sentenced to 16 to 20 months in prison with all but five months suspended.

In 2009, he was arrested again after he allegedly stole three cases of beer from a Raleigh grocery store, but, according to court records, the charges were dismissed by the Wake County District Attorney's Office. It's unclear why.

In 2012, he spent another five months in prison for a probation violation in March 2010.

Christopher  Palmeri Man convicted in Wake teen's death in trouble again

Young's mother, Rosemarie Newman, said Thursday that tears formed in her eyes when she heard about Palmeri's latest troubles.

"I feel so sorry for him," she said. "I have no idea what role the burden of taking someone's life has had on him."

Newman said she doesn't blame Palmeri for the wreck and that her son would not have blamed him either.

"Sadiki never blamed anyone for anything but himself," she said. "Yes, Chris was driving that night, but Sadiki made the choice to get in the car."

36 Comments

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  • djofraleigh Feb 15, 1:03 p.m.

    Get him off the streets. Living at home might just mean the parents are trying to help him, but how is he getting the money to buy drugs and means to be out at night?

    Sentence him to rehab...or jail, let the parents and him take their pick. This guy is probably a victim of that wreck, or it made him worse.

  • luxurytravel Feb 15, 12:00 p.m.

    He still lives at home (based on the addresses reported by WRAL)at aged 24. Enabling parents only fuels the addiction

  • buford Feb 15, 9:02 a.m.

    This is heartbreaking...

    http://www.wral.com/news/local/video/1232243/#/vid1232243

  • Rebelyell55 Feb 14, 7:50 p.m.

    Ain't learn nothing has he. I don't even think jail time will straighten this young man out.

  • miseem Feb 14, 7:42 p.m.

    An accident.

    Did someone actually call this an accident? 18 years old, drunk and driving 72 in a 35 (obviously a residential area). Right. It was an accident waiting to happen.

  • wallsedwin Feb 14, 5:56 p.m.

    "WHY? was he allowed BACK out on the roads? A lawsuite waiting to happen."

    I don't see anywhere where it says he was allowed back on the roads.

  • beachboater Feb 14, 5:21 p.m.

    Try to give a kid a break, and they just can't accept it. He's had more than enough chance to straighten out and has refused to do so.

    Now he needs to be treated like a big boy and do his time.

    An accident that took a life should be a very stong wake up call for this guy. I think he had the opportunity to clean up his act, never drink another drop, no drugs, a chance to be a role model. I guess he blew that. Heroin and opiates are pretty big time stuff.

  • buford Feb 14, 4:31 p.m.

    Dr. Newman is an amazing and compassionate woman.

  • zenonx6 Feb 14, 4:20 p.m.

    We need to go all out on the drug problem...

  • IPayYouPay Feb 14, 4:20 p.m.

    WHY? was he allowed BACK out on the roads? A lawsuite waiting to happen.

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