Hit-and-run killer Daniel Campbell could get off lightly with 90 days in jail for the death of Devesh Samtani
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THE HAMPTONS, NEW YORK: Daniel Campbell, the 20-year-old who mowed down Devesh 'Devu' Samtani, 18, in Amagansett on August 10, 2021 in a hit-and-run case, will land in jail but only for 90 days, informed attorney Benjamin Brafman. Earlier, Judge Richard Ambro planned to sentence Campbell only to six months of community service and five years probation instead of jail time.
However, Brafman claimed, "We are pleased that the court gave very serious consideration to our position." He added, "We are indeed hopeful that the court said he is inclined to change the promise on the sentence from community service to 90 days in jail assuming Mr Campbell agrees to accept that sentence."
Devesh's parents Mala and Kishore Samtani had earlier expressed their disappointment at the decision that meant Campbell would get no jail time. In this light, Brafman said, "We explained to the judge that if he proceeds with the sentence of community service the family does not believe that that it is really justice." The attorney added, "The crime here is leaving the scene of the accident. The crime is he ran away and should have stopped. He should have remained on the scene."
He added, "We also explained that it is probably not possible for him to have been driving at 20-25 miles per hour as he told the police who interviewed him because the impact was substantial." Brafman said, "Witnesses say Devu flew more than six feet in the air and landed without his shoes. The force of the impact was just not possible for him to have been driving 20-25 miles per hour."
Further, he explained, "It doesn't appear that that was factored into the equation, we were very surprised when they learned about Campbell's driving history. This kid at age 17 already ignored the driving rules that apply to all of us that was apparent from driving transcripts from the Motor Vehicle Bureau." The attorney added, "This is very unusual. He was supposed to have been sentenced today but he is not going to be sentenced because the probation officer could not finish her report because of the computer break down in Suffolk County."
Brafman also spoke of not receiving an updated probation report of the case. "As a result the judge does not have an updated probation report and the preliminary report did not include anything from the family because they were not notified because of the failure of the lawyer who got the victim impact statement," he said. "I think what is important from our perspective is the court is inclined to change the offer to Mr Campbell from five years probation and six months of community service to five years probation with 90 days of jail and 90 days of community service."
Brafman also added that he does not think there will be a trial because Campbell admitted to the crime. "I think this is really about leaving the scene of an accident," he said. He added, "I think this is an issue of a young person after an accident panicking. I think it is unfortunate that there is a serious tragedy he left the family to deal with for the rest of their lives."