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Aug 2, 2019 4:58 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Donnell Hicks Indicted For Fatal Hit-And-Run; Funeral Held For East Quogue Woman

Aug 5, 2019 3:42 PM

Donnell Hicks, the AutoZone delivery driver charged with striking and killing AnnMarie Christina of East Quogue on Monday, July 29, in North Babylon, was indicted by a Suffolk County grand jury in Central Islip on Friday.

The 26-year-old from Springfield Gardens, Queens, struck Ms. Christina in front of the AutoZone in North Babylon on Monday, July 29, and dragged her body for several blocks, killing her, authorities said. Mr. Hicks also struck Eric Krems, 40, who suffered minor injuries.

Mr. Hicks’s attorney, Steven Gildin, said last week that his client was unaware that he was dragging Ms. Christina, calling her death “a terrible tragedy.”

According to the Suffolk County district attorney’s office, in a statement upon his arrest, Mr. Hicks admitted to getting out of his vehicle, seeing the body and fleeing the scene.

Mr. Hicks was charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury, both felonies.

However, Mr. Gildin said that his client “maintains that he heard and saw nothing,” adding that he was skeptical of Mr. Hicks’s prior statement.

“We’re very skeptical as to whether the statement is valid,” he said. “We don’t understand why our client was interrogated at his job. Why wasn’t he taken to the police station? We’re very suspicious whether the statement was voluntary.”

Mr. Gildin’s co-counsel, Brent Chapman, added, “It is not clear that any statement was given voluntarily.”

Outside of the courthouse on Friday, August 2, Chuck Sonnenberg of Deer Park noted that he drove by the scene of the accident on Tuesday, July 30, and saw what he described as “obvious, reddish-colored skid marks” along Deer Park Avenue. He added that it appeared that the driver had been swerving before turning onto Shade Street.

“A lot of people are very impacted,” he said. Although he did not know Ms. Christina personally, he said, “It chokes me.”

Mr. Sonnenberg, together with the administrators of a Facebook community page called Deer Park Unplugged, held a candlelight vigil for Ms. Christina on Monday, August 5, at 7 p.m. on Shade Street.

Of those who attended was Dawn Bruno-Wiggins of Oceanside, who identified herself as the godmother of Ms. Christina’s younger sister, Jillienne Christina. “AnneMarie was the backbone of the family,” she said.

A funeral mass was celebrated for Ms. Christina on Saturday, August 3, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rosalie Catholic Church in Hampton Bays.

Mr. Hicks is due back in First District Court in Central Islip at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 9, according to court documents.

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