By AMANDA ANDRIES
A dazed-looking former fugitive accused in a cold case of fatally running over a 15-year-old special education student in 2005, appeared with his attorney on Tuesday in Queens Criminal Court to request that a statement by a key witness be thrown out.
Bartolo Paula, 56, fled to the Dominican Republic and then to Spain, after allegedly running over Jeffrey Javier outside John Adams High School on Rockaway Blvd.
Paula, charged with first-degree manslaughter, appeared before judge Hon. Kenneth K. Holder, with his attorney Michael D. Siff, in a preliminary hearing, during which Siff requested that the statement of witness, Detective Ivan Borbon, be suppressed on constitutional grounds, saying the defendant wasn’t read his rights.
Holder delayed making a decision on the admissibility of the statement until after another hearing on March 19.
After the hearing, prosecutor Maryam Lipkansky spoke to Javier’s family- about eight members- who had gathered outside of the courtroom, about the defense’s request that the statement be tossed.
“I don’t see a reason that it should be thrown out,” she said.
Det. Borbon formerly of the 106th Precinct in Ozone Park retired in 2006 and will be flown in for the hearing, said attorneys Siff and Lipkansky.
The prosecution has seven other witnesses whom they are hoping to call when the case goes to trial.
“We are reliving the situation all over again, our hearts were pounding when we saw him today,” said Julissa Javier, 39, aunt of the dead boy.
Javier’s mother, Liduvina Vargas, 45, of the Bronx, was also present in the courtroom.
In his second court appearance after he was captured in Spain and extradited back to the US in December, 2012, Paula, a Spanish speaker who required an interpreter, looked backwards several times in a disoriented manner, prompting the judge to ask him if he was paying attention
“My client maintains his innocence and looks forward to his day in court,” Siff said.