Charges in Fatal Noyac Crash Will Not Be Dismissed

T.E. McMorrow

The judge presiding over the case of Sean P. Ludwick, who is facing six felony charges including vehicular manslaughter for the 2015 accident in Noyac that killed his passenger, Paul Hansen, has rejected motions made by the defense to dismiss the charges.

In a written decision on Thursday, Justice Fernando Camacho said that the law requires him to view the evidence and the grand jury transcripts “in a light most favorable to the people.” He wrote, “Upon such inspection, the court finds that sufficient legal evidence was advanced to establish the commission by the defendant of each offense charged in the indictment.”

He also denied the defense’s request for a hearing regarding the prosecution’s determination after the fact that Mr. Ludwick’s blood alcohol content was high enough to warrant raised aggravated charges.

Justice Camacho agreed to schedule hearings on the defense’s requests to suppress evidence and statements the prosecution is planning to use during the trial to prove that Mr. Ludwick was drunk and behind the wheel of his 2013 Porsche when he crashed in the early morning hours of Aug. 30, 2015.

Originally freed after posting a $1 million bond, Mr. Ludwick, a Manhattan developer, has been held in county jail in Yaphank since being returned on a warrant issued by Justice Camacho in January 2016 after receiving evidence that Mr. Ludwick was attempting to flee the country.

According to the police, Mr. Ludwick had attempted to leave the crash scene after dragging Mr. Hansen’s body out of the car’s passenger seat and leaving him on the side of the road, just yards from Mr. Hansen’s driveway on Rolling Hills Court East. After driving on four flat tires, Mr. Ludwick was found less than a quarter mile away, where the car had finally died.

Among the evidence Mr. Ludwick’s attorneys, William Keahon and Jonathon B. Manley, are seeking to suppress were statements allegedly made by Mr. Ludwick immediately after the crash. According to the court file, he told the first officer at the scene, who was from the Sag Harbor Police Department, “It was an accident. It was a mistake.” When he was asked if there had been a passenger in the car, he allegedly responded, “Don’t worry about that guy.”

He was initially taken to Sag Harbor police headquarters, then was transferred to Southampton Town police headquarters in Hampton Bays. During the drive to Hampton Bays, hours after the crash, he began asking about Mr. Hansen, the police said. “What happened to the guy?” he reportedly asked. Told Mr. Hansen was seriously injured, police said Mr. Ludwick asked, “How seriously? Is he in the hospital? Is he going to die? Do you think he is going to make it?”

After arriving at Southampton headquarters, he was ordered to remove his clothes, which were covered in blood, according to the prosecutor. “Do you want to see me naked?” he allegedly asked. He is then quoted as saying, “I was with Paul, we had an accident. Paul had some difficulties.”

Mr. Hansen had been declared dead on the scene. His brother, Robert Hansen, was at the courthouse when the decision was announced Thursday. He said his family was looking forward to the resolution of the charges, and for closure.

Mr. Keahon left the courthouse with the printed ruling from Justice Camacho in his hands. “I haven’t had a chance to read it,” he said, but added that he would be prepared to comment on it later on Thursday.

According to Ray Varuolo, assistant district attorney with the vehicular crime bureau, the case will be in court next on March 22, when it is expected that the justice and attorneys involved will begin laying out a schedule for the hearings.