Defendant was convicted on top charge of Assault in the First Degree in crash that left his front seat passenger a quadriplegic
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that Anthony Chiantella was convicted yesterday by a jury on all counts in a near-fatal crash on the Wantagh State Parkway in February 2019 that left his passenger a quadriplegic.
Chiantella, 29, was convicted by a jury of Assault in the First Degree (a B violent felony), Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony), Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree (a D felony), Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree (an E felony), two counts of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol (an unclassified misdemeanor), and Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Alcohol and a Drug (an unclassified misdemeanor).
The trial, before Judge Terence Murphy, started on April 7th, and the jury deliberated for just two hours before rendering their verdict. The defendant faces a potential maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 4, 2021. The trial was the first to move forward in Nassau County Court since the late-fall, when jury trials were suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Anthony Chiantella is the epitome of a depraved driver, broadcasting himself driving 130 mph while drinking and high on cocaine, resulting in a crash that paralyzed his passenger and threatened the lives of everyone in his path,” District Attorney Singas said. “He was recorded saying he knows that people die in crashes – it is just luck that he did not take the lives of innocent drivers on the road with him. We respect the jury’s verdict finding him guilty on all counts.”
DA Singas said that on Saturday, February 2, 2019 at approximately 4:41 pm, the defendant, drunk and under the influence of cocaine, was driving 24-year-old Nicholas Mustakas’ 2007 Honda Accord at more than 130 miles per hour northbound on the Wantagh State Parkway when he lost control of the vehicle near Exit W6 and crashed, ejecting both the defendant and his front seat passenger, Mustakas, from the vehicle.
Both Chiantella and Mustakas were transported to Nassau University Medical Center following the crash. Mustakas was left a quadriplegic after shattering his C-4 vertebra and suffering collapsed lungs. He remained in Nassau University Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit for one month following the accident and is unlikely to walk again.
Senior Assistant District Attorney Christopher Casa and Senior Assistant District Attorney Alexander DePalo of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case. Robert Schalk, Esq. represented the defendant.