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Fugitive Charged For Hit And Run

It’s been almost 12 years since the death of Jean Renison, but it was only last week that her friends and family could have some peace of mind, knowing that the man responsible would finally be held accountable. On March 20, 36-year-old Sebastian Barba was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the hit-and-run incident that killed 80-year-old Renison as she was crossing the street in Westbury.

According to the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office, at approximately 10 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2001, Renison was crossing Post Ave. at the Maple Ave. intersection when she was struck by a 1995 Cadillac driven by Barba, a Hicksville resident at the time. The impact of the collision forced Renison onto the hood of the vehicle. Barba then applied the brakes, causing Renison, who was still alive and moving, to fall in front of the vehicle. Barba then slowly drove over the victim’s chest and head while a witness screamed at him to stop. He fled the scene without identifying himself or aiding the victim, and fled to Ecuador where he has dual citizenship. A grand jury indicted him shortly after and issued a warrant for his arrest.

However, because Barba has dual U.S. and Ecuadorian citizenship, he was not able to be extradited as the Ecuadorian constitution states no national may be extradited to another country. Barba eluded capture for 12 years, during which time an international manhunt took place involving the DA’s office, Nassau County Police Department, Port Authority Police Department, U.S. State Department, U.S. Marshal’s Service, government of Panama and Interpol.

 In November 2012, Barba was detained by local authorities in Panama when his connecting flight from the Dominican Republic to Ecuador was flagged due to an international arrest warrant.  He was arrested in November and sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilt to Assault in the 1st Degree and Leaving the Scene of an Incident without Reporting.

“This defendant showed callous disregard for life and law when he committed this horrific crime and then evaded prosecution for over a decade,” said Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice. “But justice caught up with him in the end, with his being sentenced to as much time in prison as he spent evading responsibility for (this) elderly victim’s death.”