A Binghamton man, who was initially charged with murder in connection with a fatal hit-and-run car-pedestrian crash last year, has now pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other charges.
Rajee Al-Mashni faced a range of serious charges including second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and leaving the scene of an accident. In addition to these charges, there were 13 other related charges brought against him.
Elizabeth Atkinson, a 72-year-old resident of Johnson City, tragically lost her life in March 2023 outside the Oakdale Commons shopping center.
Al-Mashni entered a guilty plea to several charges in Broome County Court on January 11. These charges include second-degree manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and second-degree attempted assault.
Al-Mashni pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted assault following a motor vehicle accident on June 27, 2022, at the intersection of Leroy and Chapin streets in the City of Binghamton. The accident resulted in severe injuries to multiple individuals.
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Johnson City police officers were called to Oakdale Commons around 4:20 p.m. on March 6, 2023. Witnesses reported a man who appeared to be intoxicated and had entered two vehicles in the parking lot. The officers responded to check on the man’s welfare.
Al-Mashni, the suspect, allegedly fled the scene when approached by authorities. He drove south at a high rate of speed.
Al-Mashni’s vehicle hit Atkinson as she was exiting a store at the mall, according to the police.
According to the police, officers pursued Al-Mashni after he pulled out of the parking lot and drove through several village streets. Eventually, his car became disabled, and he fled on foot before being apprehended.
Atkinson passed away after being taken to UHS Wilson Hospital.
Broome County District Attorney Paul Battisti expressed his strong condemnation of the incident, referring to it as a senseless tragedy resulting from selfish decisions. He emphasized the ongoing issue of impaired driving that poses a threat to the safety of our streets. Battisti also acknowledged the countless families, including Ms. Atkinson’s, who are grieving the loss of their loved ones due to the actions of reckless drivers.
Al-Mashni’s sentencing in Broome County Court is set for April 9.
According to Battisti, the plea in Atkinson’s death could result in a prison sentence of five to 15 years. Additionally, there may be an additional sentence of one to three years for the attempted assault charge related to the 2022 crash.
He mentioned that the sentences would probably be served one after the other.
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A tragic incident occurred in Oakdale Commons, resulting in the death of a 72-year-old woman who was struck by a car. This case update provides the latest information on the incident.