Ithaca, N.Y. — James Crosby recklessly caused his best friend’s death and that of a woman by driving out of control on New Year’s Eve 2013 at speeds of over 84 mph, the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office argued in court on Monday.
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Citing the movie series “The Fast and the Furious,” Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski argued that Crosby, 19, flew through Route 34/96 in Newfield in his 1998 Monte Carlo because he “wanted to be a racecar driver.”
“He took on his celebrity role status in his mind,” Filipowski said in her opening statement. “He’s a stunt driver and he doesn’t care about anyone else in his way. He’s invincible.”
Derek Nichols, 20, and Kathy Lattimore, 67, were killed in the New Year’s Eve crash. Crosby’s defense team has argued that police used “meaningless” evidence and “junk science” to conclude that the teenager was responsible in the deaths. Read The Voice’s full account of Crosby’s defense here.
A non-jury trial began in Tompkins County Court Monday morning. Over two dozen people have packed the courthouse, some wearing orange sweatshirts with the name of the victim. They listened attentively to the ADA’s opening statement; The Voice will be providing an account of the defense’s opening statement soon.
Filipowski said that prosecution would produce witnesses who would show that Crosby was speeding recklessly.
“Judge, this was so remarkable — his speed was so high and his driving so reckless and egregious that it alarmed people on the road,” she said. “We’ve all driven, judge. The speed of this road was 55 mph but Jimmy Crosby, I submit to this court, was driving over 84 miles per … again a windy, hilly, twisted road.”
Filipowski anticipated that the defense would cite poor weather conditions.
“No one needs an expert to say look at this wreck … this wreck is not about speeds of 55” mph, Filipowski said, adding that the only debris on the roadway was from the crash.
Filipowski added that other young men on the road, seeing Crosby’s speed, called his passenger to ask why he was going so fast.
“Young men calling other young men — that’s how bad it was,” she said.