YONKERS – The Yonkers man charged in a fatal hit-and run in the city last month had a brief appearance in court Wednesday.
Police say John Martinez, 25, struck Jesus Villanueva, 23, during the early morning hours of March 8 in the area of Bruce Avenue and Radford Street. They say he fled the scene in his gray Honda Civic.
Villanueva was taken to a hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Martinez was arrested weeks later after investigators poured over grainy surveillance footage of the incident. He was charged with one count of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident resulting in death.
Defense attorney Paul D’Emilia said Martinez is “very remorseful” and asked the judge to reduce his $20,000 cash bail.
Martinez is due back in court on May 22.
Led by Paul D’Emilia, the firm focused its efforts on communicating and negotiating with the Westchester D.A.’s office. D’Emilia appeared in-person and via videoconference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) to fight on his behalf. After several months, D’Emilia Law secured a favorable resolution. The client accepted the reduced charge of criminally negligent homicide – which acknowledged that the incident was an accident. The client was sentenced to probation for five years.