Suffolk D.A.: Huntington Station man pleads guilty to drunk driving crash

Suffolk D.A.: Huntington Station man pleads guilty to drunk driving crash

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Leo Flores-Gracias

Leo Flores-Gracias Was Driving While Intoxicated When He Caused a Fatal Head-On Collision

Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced on June 7 that Leo Flores-Gracias, 26, of Huntington Station, pleaded guilty to Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and other related charges, for driving while intoxicated and crashing into another vehicle, killing his own passenger, Marlon Nunez-Cuellar, 25, of Huntington Station.

“This defendant’s decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol caused the tragic death of Marlon Nunez-Cuellar,” said District Attorney Tierney. “Today’s guilty plea should be a warning to others that drunk driving will not be tolerated in Suffolk County, and you will face serious penalties, particularly if you cause injury or death to another person.”

According to court documents and the defendant’s admissions during his guilty plea allocution, on July 4, 2023, at approximately 8:06 p.m., Flores-Gracias and three others left a party where he had been drinking alcohol. All four individuals got into Flores-Gracias’ 2017 Honda Accord. Flores- Gracias began driving northbound on Sweet Hollow Road in Huntington, and crashed head-on into a vehicle that was driving southbound. An extraction of the vehicle’s event data recorder revealed that the defendant was travelling 72 mph just one second before the impact on a roadway where the posted speed limit is 30 mph.

Marlon Nunez-Cuellar, one of Flores-Gracias’ passengers, was transported to Plainview Hospital where he was pronounced dead from injuries he sustained in the crash.

When police officers arrived at the scene, they observed Flores-Gracias exhibiting signs of intoxication and placed him under arrest. Flores-Gracias consented to a blood draw upon request by police. Subsequent toxicology testing of his blood revealed that Flores-Gracias’ blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .14%. Additionally, a sample of Flores-Gracias’ blood taken by hospital staff was also seized pursuant to a search warrant. Toxicology testing of that blood sample, taken at a different time than the sample taken by police, revealed Flores-Gracias’ BAC was .19%, more than two times the legal limit. Containers of Corona beer were also recovered from the trunk of the defendant’s vehicle during the execution of a search warrant.

On June 6, 2024, Flores-Gracias pleaded guilty to the following charges before Supreme Court Justice, the Honorable Richard Ambro:

  •   Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, a Class B felony;
  •   Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a Class C felony;
  •   Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, an Unclassified misdemeanor; and
  •   Reckless Driving, an Unclassified misdemeanor.

    Flores-Gracias is due back in court for sentencing on August 20, 2024. He is expected to be sentenced to four to 12 years in prison. He is being represented by Adaline Arvello, Esq.

    This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys James McCormack and Emma Henry of the Vehicular Crime Bureau, and the investigation was conducted by Detective Valentin Rosado of the Suffolk County Police Department’s Major Case Unit.

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