Teen Pleads Guilty in Connection With Wakefield Student's Death
Posted August 16, 2007
Updated May 26, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — A Raleigh teenager pleaded guilty Thursday to hindering police in their investigation in the hours after an alcohol-related crash that killed a Wakefield High School student.
Dylan Neal Caldwell, 17, of 6604 Professor Court, was sentenced to one year of supervised probation and must complete 75 hours of community service and pay a $250 fine and court costs.
Police charged Caldwell with one count of restrict, delay and obstruct in connection with the Jan. 13 death of Sadiki Young, 18, who died when the car in which he was riding with two other people went off a road and tumbled down an embankment.
The car's driver, Christopher John Palmeri, 18, of High Holly Lane, pleaded guilty last week to involuntary manslaughter and drunken-driving. He was sentenced to 16 to 20 months in prison, with all but five months suspended.
Caldwell was not in the car, but picked up the third occupant, Frank Joseph Sambrick, 18, close to the scene and dropped him off at a party they had attended earlier that night.
Caldwell said on Thursday that he then went to the scene after realizing how bad the accident was.
He pleaded guilty to telling officers that he had never been at the scene. Prosecutors contended that he did not tell investigators for more than three hours that Sambrick had been in the car with Palmeri and Young, and that delayed their ability to investigate the case.
Caldwell also said he never called 911 because he heard Palmeri calling. His mother, Cathy Caldwell, said that her son never rendered help because Young was already dead.
Officers also cited Caldwell for having no operator's license, but prosecutors dropped that charge as part of a plea agreement.
Palmeri was also placed on five years' probation and ordered to perform 300 hours of community service after he serves his time.
Police also charged several other students with misdemeanor crimes in the case.
Young's death was the sixth death of a Wakefield High student in a year because of a car accident.