Shushan Baraby in court 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The Central District Attorney’s Office signed a plea bargain Thursday morning with hit-and-run driver Shoshan Baraby, who was responsible for the death of three family members in Netanya in August 2012.
Police said they believed Baraby was driving an Audi sedan when it plowed through a crosswalk, killing Svetlana Yigudiyev, 56, and her daughter Shoshana, 25, both from Dimona, along with Svetlana’s cousin Alexandra Rubinov, 67, of Netanya.
Baraby was charged with counts of drunken manslaughter, abandoning the scene of an accident, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and obstruction of justice.
The indictment filed at the Lod Magistrate’s Court said that Baraby consumed copious amounts of alcohol, and that his attempt to drive was a “ticking time bomb.” Police received witness testimony that Baraby was drinking before the accident, and was seen driving off in the sedan before the fatal accident took place.
According to the plea bargain, the indictment will be changed so that the manslaughter charges are converted to negligent manslaughter and the charge of driving under the influence of alcohol will be removed. The rest of the charges will remain.
The incoming state attorney, outgoing state attorney and central district attorney approved the agreement because of “evidential difficulties.”
“To begin with, the decision to charge [Baraby] with manslaughter and not with negligent manslaughter was a complicated decision based on circumstantial evidence,” the District Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “While presenting the evidence in court, some evidential difficulties arose and the court even commented on that.”
The district attorney stressed that the plea bargain did not include any agreement about Baraby’s sentencing.
The plea bargain was presented to the court on Tuesday, but the official decision on it will be given on February 12, to allow the victims’ families time to exhaust all of the legal measures at their disposal.