By Stephen J. Kotz
The legal logjam around the prosecution of Sean P. Ludwick, 44, of Manhattan and Bridgehampton, who faces a slew of felony charges, including aggravated vehicular homicide, in the August 30, 2015, death of Paul Hansen of Noyac, appears to be breaking up.
Suffolk County Justice Fernando Camacho — after a brief court conference on Thursday, January 19 — set a February 16 hearing on motions presented by Mr. Ludwick’s defense team to dismiss the charges and assistant district attorney Ray Varuelo’s response to those motions.
Robert Clifford, a spokesman for District Attorney Thomas Spota, said he believed the judge would likely render a decision that same day on whether to dismiss the charges or proceed to trial in the case.
Jonathan Manley, one of Mr. Ludwick’s attorneys, deferred questions to William Keahon of Keahon, Fleischer & Ferrante of Hauppauge. Mr. Keahon declined to comment.
Last month, Mr. Varuelo said he was confident in the prosecution’s case and said the defense’s motions to have the charges dismissed were a formality.
Prosecutors say Mr. Ludwick was intoxicated when he lost control of his Porsche and struck a utility pole on Rolling Hills Court East in Noyac and dragged Mr. Hansen’s body from the vehicle and tried to flee. Police found him standing besides his damaged car a few blocks away.
Mr. Ludwick had been free on $1 million bail until early last January when investigators said they discovered he was trying to flee the country to avoid prosecution. He has been held at Suffolk County jail in Yaphank since then.
Although Justice Camacho pressed for a trial last fall, the case has been set back by a number of factors, from delays in obtaining lab results to a backlog of other major cases involving the district attorney’s vehicular crimes bureau.