Local News

Driver pleads guilty in deadly DWI

Monday, September 14, 2009

The man who killed a college student home visiting his family for Thanksgiving pleaded guilty Monday in Long Island court.

Jason Shein was studying to be a doctor when he was hit and killed by drunk driver Persi Esquivel.

Family members say Shein was an aspiring neurologist who just wanted to help people. His life was cut short by a convicted drunk driver.

"I can't talk to my son ever again," Shein's mother, Betsy, said.

"We gotta do something about these laws, I'll tell you right now," his father, Albert, said. "A drunk driver can go out there...and kill somebody, and they get a few years for it."

It will be a year in November since their son died, and the Sheins say it is still as painful as ever. Betsy wears a broken heart around her neck with her son's picture on it. She cried out loud in court as the 47-year-old Esquivel showed no signs of remorse after pleading guilty to drunk driving with a suspended license.

Shein was just 21 years old and had everything to live for.

"I kind of try to tell my mind that he's away at school," Betsy said. "And he'll be coming home soon. That's what gets me through day by day."

"I say to myself he's away at school," Albert said. "He was going to be a doctor, he was trying to help people. And this happens. It's terrible."

It was on Thanksgiving when Shein was coming home from a reunion dinner with a group of friends. Esquivel cross the double line on Conklin Street in Farmingdale and plowed into Shein's car.

"He's done this before," Betsy said. "He doesn't belong on our streets. He doesn't belong out. He belongs in a cage. And throw away the key, because I'm going to have to feel this pain until I die."

Esquivel pleaded guilty to seven counts, including felony DWI and vehicular manslaughter. He faces a maximum of 21 years in prison.

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WEB PRODUCED BY: Bill King

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