Robert Beodeker's Attorney: 'It Was Just A Terrible Accident'

The college dean was due back in court on Tuesday and faces upgraded felony charges.

As a college dean charged in a double fatal accident headed back to court on Tuesday, Robert Boedeker's attorney said questions continue to swirl about the incident.

Beodeker, an Aquebogue resident who is facing upgraded felony charges after being arrested again Friday, is represented by Plainview-based defense attorney Richard Wool.

Wool said Beodeker, who was slated to appear before Nassau District Court Judge David McAndrews Tuesday, could either be indicted, or face a felony exam. A felony exam is done to determine whether there is proof or reason a defendant can still be held on charges; if not, Beodeker could be released Tuesday, Wool said, although he added that his client also could be indicted.

His client, he reminded, has not yet been indicted on any charges.

Of his client, Wool said, "He's a good guy. This is just a terrible accident."

Wool said there were questions that remained about the accident that needed to be answered. "It's an unfortunate situation. We're not sure where these vicims were at the time they got hit. They may have been in the middle of the road, for all we know. We really don't know where they were, and we're trying to find out. Hopefully, this will be just a bad accident."

Many young people look up to Beodeker in his positions as a dean and as former president of the North Fork Community Theatre, Wool said. Beodeker recently resigned from the NFCT. "Those kids should keep looking up to him -- because he's not a bad guy."

On Friday, Beodeker faced upgraded charges after the accident that killed two in Nassau County, police said.

Beodeker, 50, surrendered to state police investigators and was arrested and charged Friday with aggravated vehicular homicide, a felony, two counts of vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, a felony, two counts of criminally negligent homicide, a felony, and driving while ability impaired, a misdemeanor, New York State Police said.

The charges, police said, stemmed from a March 4 accident in which Beodeker was found to have methamphetamine and amphetamine in his blood at the time of a double fatal accident.

According to a Newday report, Beodeker pleaded not guilty; Nassau District Court Judge David McAndrews set bail at $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail. Beodeker is due back in court March 19 and, if convicted of the top charge against him, faces up to 25 years in prison, Newsday said.

The accident occurred on the Meadowbrook State Parkway southbound at the interchange with the Southern State Parkway, police said.

According to police, Beodeker was driving a GMC pick-up southbound, near the Southern State Parkway, when he struck a disabled Nissan Maxima which had become disabled and stopped on the white hazard markings.

Beodeker, police said, failed to merge and instead drove onto the hazardous markings, striking the disabled vehicle as well as both victims.

Both John Elder, 76, of Freeport, and Edward Ross, 65, of North Bellmore, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Consent for a blood sample was given and a sample was taken, police said.

After the accident occurred, it was revealed that Beodeker had a suspended New York State drivers' license.

Wool said Beodeker's license was suspended because "he had a couple of tickets he didn't pay. It's absolutely nothing."

Beodeker was initially arrested at the time for aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree and reckless driving, both misdemeanors, police said; a medical examiner's toxicology report revealed impairment due to drugs.

The vehicular crimes unit of the Nassau County District Attorney's office directed the upgraded charges due to the on going investigation and toxicology results.  

Meanwhile, police are investigating anonymous threats of violence toward his family left on Beodeker's office phone of after the double fatal accident.




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