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DA Seeking Maximum Sentence For Teen Driver Accused Of Killing 4-Year-Old Ariel Russo

Franklin Reyes, 17, Is Accused Of Mowing Down The Little Girl In June
Ariel Russo, 2 days before she was struck and killed by an SUV in June. (credit: handout)

Ariel Russo, 2 days before she was struck and killed by an SUV in June. (credit: handout)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The teenager accused of mowing down 4-year-old Ariel Russo and her grandmother while fleeing police on the Upper West Side in June appeared in court on Tuesday.

As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Franklin Reyes, 17, kept his head down during the court appearance.

The little girl’s father, Alan Russo, cried out “she was only 4, only 4,” while his wife Sophia sobbed at his side in the courtroom.

The prosecutor told the judge the only guilty plea the district attorney is willing to accept is to the top count of second degree manslaughter.

Reyes is charged with manslaughter and unlawful fleeing in a motor vehicle.

Investigators say Reyes was driving without a valid license when he struck and killed Ariel Russo on June 4.

Russo’s grandmother was also severely injured in the crash.

Outside court, Sophia Russo said the pain of losing her little girl is still fresh.

“This is hard, this is every mother’s worst nightmare. It’s hard, it’s so hard, even though it’s September it’s been three months, it’s still hard,” she said.

Russo added she’s very grateful that the DA is pushing for a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years for Reyes.

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