Man convicted in alcohol-related death faces new charges
Posted May 26, 2009
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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.