EX-COP PLEADS GUILTY IN DWI DEATH
A former Middletown cop with a long rap sheet involving booze and driving faces up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty yesterday to DWI charges in connection with a 2-year-old boy’s death in Hudson County earlier this year, Jersey Journal reports.
The plea bargain requires Kevin Freibott, a Middletown resident, to serve at least six years, the Journal says.
In a Jan. 23 accident on the Pulaski Skyway, Freibott, who was off-duty from his job as as a Jersey City policeman, crashed his Jeep Cherokee into a car in which a mother and child were passengers. The boy, Carlos Zelaya, died of his injuries days later; his mother, Ruth Zelaya, has been in an unresponsive coma ever since.
Freibott pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, assault by auto and driving while intoxicated. The plea agreement stipulates that he’ll face no additional charges if Ruth Zelaya dies, the Journal reports.
From the Journal:
Freibott, who is a cousin of Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, transferred from the Middletown Police Department in December 2005 with a record that included a previous DWI, seven car accidents, seven moving violations and three license suspensions.
Yesterday Healy said in a statement that “… we are glad to see that perhaps there is some finality and I hope this begins closure for the families involved.”
After the hearing Judge Peter Vazquez filled out a form to remove Freibott from the police department.
An article in the Nov. 13, 2002 Asbury Park Press said Freibott had been involved in two accidents in 2001, once while on duty, and that he had been fired by township officials for giving police inaccurate information regarding his license, which had been suspended. A Merit System Board ruling later recommended that Freibott be suspended for six months without pay and reinstated.