Man Charged in 2014 Albany County Vehicular Homicide Pleads Not Guilty
A grand jury returned a 14 count indictment against a man accused of being drunk behind the wheel in a car crash that left two people dead. Jon Dougherty has more from outside of the Albany Country Courthouse.
Of 14 counts, Tyler Pascuzzi has been charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter, and aggravated DWI. If convicted, he could spend up to 25 years in jail.
Now 26, Tyler Pascuzzi walked into Albany County Court looking much different than his original arraignment from 2014 -- gone is the neck brace and cuts to his face and body.
But, nearly two years since the July 4, 2014 crash where two of his passengers died, Pascuzzi is facing a slew of charges.
"I understand the people's position in this case but this case is going to be very, very hotly contested. We intend and he intends to be acquitted" said Defense Attorney Steve Coffey.
"Don't drink and drive. If you're going to drink, don't drive," said Brian Miller, Sr. who's son was injured in the crash.
Miller's son was involved in the crash. He was driving a car prosecutors say Pascuzzi rear ended on the Thruway while driving at a high rate of speed -- and under the influence of alcohol more than twice the legal limit.
Alicia Tamboia and Cody Vaverka died in the crash. Families of both victims were in court, but did not want to speak on camera.
"Mr. Pascuzzi wouldn't even look at the picture of her daughter. We're all going to be here supporting them to get through this trial," Miller said.
A trial that Pascuzzi's defense team says will be about setting the facts straight.
"Does he have regret that two people died, of course he does. I don't want to leave you with the impression that for some reason he's happy about what happened. He feels awful about what happened but he's not guilty of any crimes and we're going to make that very clear," Coffey said.
Pascuzzi remains free on $250,000 bail and is prohibited from driving a car. He's due back in court in two weeks.