NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Was it a tragic accident, or a case of deadly disregard?
The trial begins Tuesday in the death of a Brooklyn woman who was run over while walking home. The victim’s brothers talked with CBS2’s Tony Aiello Monday night.
“I watched that little girl grow up into a beautiful young woman, and she was fully blossoming into a person that brought joy into everybody’s life,” said Peter Miller.
Tuesday brings an event that brothers Peter and Hank Miller have anticipated, and dreaded.
“It’s painful, but it’s also something I think will be good to get past,” Hank Miller said.
Marlon Sewell, the man who drove onto a Brooklyn sidewalk and killed their sister, Victoria Nicodemus, will be tried on manslaughter and other felony charges – in part because the family advocated tirelessly for a full investigation and serious charges.
Nicodemus, 30, was walking down Fulton Street in Fort Greene, Brooklyn in December 2015 when Sewell’s sport-utility vehicle jumped the curb and struck her in the head.
Prosecutors said Sewell should not have been driving any vehicle. His license was suspended.
Prosecutors also said Sewell he certainly should have known better than to be driving that particular SUV. They claim he knew carbon monoxide was leaking into the cabin, once causing him to pass out while driving on the Major Deegan Expressway.
“Accidents do happen, but this was a series of very bad decisions that stole our sister – our mother’s daughter – from us,” Peter Miller said.
Sewell’s lawyer told CBS2’s Aiello: “He’s heartbroken, but this was an accident. There’s no evidence he had anything wrong with his car.”
On the eve of trial, the brothers dreaded hearing testimony about the accident. They were also worried about the impact on their mother.
“My mom is utterly broken,” Peter Miller said. “She’s devastated.”
“There’s quite a bit of trepidation,” Hank Miller said.
The brothers know at trial, anything can happen. But 20 months after losing their sister, they are ready for the next step in their quest for justice.