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Driver gets 10 years for 2005 hit-and-run

Jeffrey Javier (r.), pictured here as a young child, was killed in a hit-and-run accident in 2005. Photo by Ellis Kaplan
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A man who pleaded guilty to a 2005 hit-and-run in Ozone Park was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announced Monday.

Bartolo Paula, formerly of Brooklyn, was extradited from Spain in December where he had fled after hitting a 15-year-old pedestrian while driving through Ozone Park Oct. 26, 2005, the DA said.

On that morning, Paula had dropped his son off at John Adams High School near 101st Street and Rockaway Boulevard, according to the DA. He stopped at a red light near the vicinity of 101st Street and Rockaway Boulevard. The victim, Jeffrey Javier, entered the crosswalk. When the light turned green, Paula struck the boy and drove away. Javier later died at Jamaica Hospital due to a fractured skull and other injuries.

A witness followed Paula for several blocks, took his license plate number and gave it to police, the DA said. After being contacted by the police, Paula agreed to surrender, but instead fled to the Dominican Republic and then Spain. Following his extradition to the United States, he pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter June 19.

In addition to the 10-year prison term, Paula was also given five years of post-release supervision.

“The defendant has admitted his guilt to a terrible and tragic crime and will serve prison time, giving him the opportunity to reflect upon his reckless actions, which resulted in the death of a teenage boy who had his whole life ahead of him,” Brown said.

Reach reporter Bianca Fortis by email at bfortis@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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