Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pleasantville Man Sentenced to 5-Years in State Prison for Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident in 2011

MAYS LANDING – A Pleasantville man was sentenced to five years in state prison for leaving the scene of a fatal accident that claimed the life of an 88-year-old woman in 2011, Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain stated.
On Friday, Oct. 4, Jean A. Sene, 54, received at 5-year prison sentence for second- degree leaving the scene of a fatal accident which, resulted in the death of Bu Do Jo, of Atlantic City.

On December 3, 2011, while crossing the1300 block of Pacific Avenue, Jo was allegedly struck by a taxicab driven by Sene and then fatally struck by a jitney. After the accident, Sene left the scene and continued to operate his cab until he was stopped by police two and half hours later and charged Title 39 (motor vehicle violations).
Following an investigation conducted by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office and the Atlantic City Police Department, Sene was later criminally charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident.
Whether or not the defendant’s taxicab made physical contact with the victim was heavily disputed at trial.
Throughout the three-day long trial, the defense alleged that Sene had not struck the victim, but rather that she had fallen while crossing the street and was subsequently struck by the jitney; therefore the defendant felt he was not required to stop.
The State, represented by Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy, submitted that Sene had in fact struck the victim with his taxicab causing her to fall into the path of a jitney and then knowingly fled the scene failing to speak with police or render aid.
The Court determined that while contact between the defendant’s cab and the victim can be disputed, it was not applicable to the charge he was being tried for. The Court instructed the jury only to determine whether or not the defendant was involved in the accident and knowingly left the scene.
After less than 30 minutes of deliberation the jury returned a guilty verdict.
Prior to sentencing, the defense filed a motion for a new trial, which the Court denied.
While the defense asked the court to sentence Sene in the third-degree range, the State argued that he must be sentenced in the second-degree range of five-10 years, in order to serve as a deterrent to the public.
“Leaving the scene of a fatal accident was made a second-degree offense in order to deter people from fleeing and failing to aid injured victims and responding police when serious accidents occur,” stated Levy.
Anyone with information involving serious crimes is asked to call the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office at 609-909-7800 or go to the Prosecutor’s Office Web site at and provide information by filling out the form anonymously on the Submit a Tip page. People can also call Crime Stoppers at 609-652- 1234 or 1-800-658-8477 (TIPS) or visit the Crime Stoppers Website at Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those who commit crimes in Atlantic County.


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