Great Neck man arraigned on murder and manslaughter charges

Great Neck man arraigned on murder and manslaughter charges
Christian Arevalo, 19, faces a number of charges, including murder. (Photo courtesy of the Nassau County District Attorney's Office)

A Great Neck man was arraigned on murder and manslaughter charges, prosecutors announced on Wednesday, for an August incident that left another Great Neck man dead.

Prosecutors said that Christian Arevalo, 19, of Great Neck, and 20-year-old Corey Howell, also of Great Neck, were in an argument and that Arevalo allegedly drove his 2013 Nissan Altima toward Howell. Howell then jumped onto the hood to avoid being struck, prosecutors said, but Arevalo kept driving with Howell clinging to the car hood.

Arevalo’s Nissan Altima traveled for more than a mile at speeds of up to 60 mph along side streets and along Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, according to police, as well as through Manhasset.

Howell’s brother followed the vehicle in a 2017 Cadillac, prosecutors said, and when the two vehicles were on Cumberland Avenue, Arevalo allegedly slammed his brakes, leading to the Cadillac crashing into his vehicle.

This in turn sent the Altima onto Cumberland Adult Center property, prosecutors said, before it hit a curb at the facility and threw Howell from the hood of the car. The Cadillac then hit a nearby homeowner’s parked Nissan Rogue, police said.

Howell suffered head, neck and spine injuries from the impact, police said. Howell was pronounced dead several hours later.

“It is incomprehensible that anyone would drive for more than a mile and at 60 miles per hour with a person on the hood of the car,” Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement. “This alleged driving was depraved and senselessly took the life of a 20 year old young man.”

Arevalo has been charged with murder in the second degree, manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs and driving while ability impaired by the combined influence of drugs.

If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison.

Arevalo pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $1 million. He is due back in court on Jan. 9.

Brian Griffin and Daniel Russo, two attorneys representing Arevalo, were not immediately for comment on Wednesday, but previously said that Howell was the aggressor.

A statement emailed to Newsday earlier this year by Griffin argued that Arevalo “was the victim of a violent and sustained attack by Mr. Howell and others” and that when his client tried to escape danger, Howell “continued to attack him by jumping on his car and attempting to smash the windows while in possession of a weapon.”

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