Springfield Gardens resident Kassun Brown pleaded guilty on Nov. 20 to manslaughter for speeding through a St. Albans stop sign and crashing into another vehicle, killing its driver, an off-duty NYPD officer in 2020.
Brown, 32, of Nellis Street pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the second degree before Queens Supreme Court Judge Michael Aloise.
According to the charges, video surveillance footage showed that on Jan. 17, 2020, at approximately 11:58 p.m., Brown’s 2006 Nissan Maxima sped past a stop sign at the intersection of Nashville Boulevard and Lucas Street in St. Albans. The car struck a Nissan Altima driven by off-duty NYPD Officer Michael Ellis, who was traveling westbound on Lucas Street. Ellis’ car went into a clockwise spin before hitting two parked cars. Brown’s car veered into a telephone pole.
Ellis, who lived in St. Albans and worked out of the 63rd Precinct in Brooklyn, was rushed by EMS to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for treatment of a traumatic brain injury, a broken neck and facial fractures. He died six weeks later, on Feb. 27, the day of his 35th birthday.
At .09 percent, Brown’s blood alcohol content exceeded the maximum legal threshold of .08 percent, according to the charges. Brown was taken to a local hospital after the collision for treatment of a dislocated right ankle.
Additionally, a passenger in Brown’s car was treated for a fractured femur.
“The defendant’s recklessness prematurely took the life of a young NYPD officer,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “We welcome the guilty plea and hope it will provide some solace to Officer Ellis’ loved ones.”
Justice Aloise indicated that he would sentence Brown to an indeterminate term of 6-12 years in prison at sentencing on Jan. 11.