Not Guilty Plea Stuns
Franklin Reyes, 17, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and assault — among other charges — during arraignment last week in Manhattan Supreme Court related to the death of 4-year-old Ariel Russo, The Daily News reported. Alan and Sofia Russo, parents of the child, confronted the teen driver accused of killing their daughter after a police chase on the Upper West Side. Ariel’s mother trembled and sobbed upon seeing Reyes. She and her husband were sitting with a dozen relatives and supporters when they first saw the high school student with braces and no license who allegedly hit the girl while she was walking with her grandmother, Katia Gutierrez, 55, on Amsterdam Avenue and 97th Street about 9 a.m. June 4. The two were on their way to the girl’s school. Prosecutors said police stopped Reyes, but he fled and led them on a high-speed chase. He jumped a curb, hitting the girl and her grandmother.
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