September 28, 2016
BUFFALO, NY – A New York State Supreme Court Jury, deliberating for five hours over the course of two days, has convicted an Allegany County man of Manslaughter in connection with the death of his young son in a motor vehicle crash last year.
The six-man, six-woman jury found Kevin McCabe, 32, of Belfast, guilty of Manslaughter in the 2nd Degree, for which he faces up to 15 years behind bars.
McCabe was also convicted of two counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
McCabe was behind the wheel of a pickup truck on October 8, 2015, which crashed into the back of a tractor trailer along Route 16, which is Olean Road in Sardinia.
McCabe's four year old son Tristan, who was riding in the front seat without being restrained in any type of child safety seat, died in the crash. McCabe's 8 year old niece suffered a broken leg.
By its verdict, jurors found that McCabe recklessly caused the boy's death.
However, jurors acquitted McCabe of the more serious charge of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide (punishable by up to 25 years) apparently not convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he was was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash as alleged by prosecutors.
After talking to witnesses and collecting evidence, the Erie County Sheriff's Office was able to get a warrant to test McCabe's blood sample taken the day of the crash.
Four months later, when police claimed the results concluded that McCabe was impaired by illegal drugs at the time of the crash, he was charged with Manslaughter, Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Aggravated Vehicular Assault, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child.
McCabe, sitting with his head bowed, showed no outward signs of emotion as the verdict was read.
Following the verdict prosecutors, calling McCabe a danger to himself and others on the roadways, moved that the $10,000 bail, which he posted last spring, be revoked and that he be remanded to custody until he is sentenced on October 25.
McCabe's attorney, meanwhile, argued that his client has made all court appearances and that he has never failed a drug test.
Justice William Boller, in a somewhat unusual move, eventually decided to grant bail for McCabe "against my better judgment".
However, the judge raised McCabe's bail by ten times its original amount, to $100,000.
McCabe's attorney said later that, because his client does not have the means to raise that amount of money, the judge's action amounts to a defacto revocation of bail, and that he therefore expects McCabe will remain in custody prior to his sentencing.