Domonic Whilby, the 23-year-old nephew of model Tyson Beckford, now faces possible life imprisonment for a drunken February crash that resulted in the death of veteran New York City bus driver William Pena, the Daily News reports.
Whilby’s charges were upgraded on Wednesday at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing. The indictment now includes murder, aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and assault. He was also denied bail.
“The defendant’s actions, as depraved and as wanton as they were, show that no amount of bail is appropriate for this defendant at this time as he is charged with murder in the second degree and other charges,” Assistant District Attorney Randolph Clarke Jr. said.
Whilby pleaded not guilty.
Pena’s longtime partner, Nancy Rodriguez, along with his daughter, Gabrielle Pena, was present in the courtroom during the indictment.
“When I saw him I just relived Feb. 12 again and coming face-to-face with the killer that snatched William from our lives … ,” Rodriguez said, according to the Daily News. “I am happy that he was remanded. That will never bring William back to us, but I am grateful [for] the support.”
Pena, who had been with the Metropolitan Transit Authority for 17 years, was killed when Whilby crashed the delivery van he’d carjacked into Pena’s bus. According to the news site, Whilby confessed to drinking up to eight vodka and tonics while he was out for a night of dinner and partying. He claimed that he didn’t remember anything about the crash.
“Let me die, get out of my face,” he apparently told the authorities while being held at Bellevue Hospital a few hours after the crash. “I don’t remember anything about the collision or even how I ended up driving a vehicle.”
Read more at the Daily News.