A Jewish, Long Island-based federal judge was killed on Friday in Florida and a six-year-old boy was seriously injured in a hit-and-run incident. The driver was allegedly high, carrying drugs and claiming to be the fictional teenage wizard Harry Potter, multiple media outlets reported.
Judge Sandra Feuerstein, 75, was struck by a car in Boca Raton, fatally ending a long career in the justice system.
The driver, 23-year-old Nastasia Andranie Snape, was later found by police in Delray Beach after crashing her car. When police found her, she had reportedly begun to convulse and fight with medics, claiming erratically that she was Harry Potter, according to a probable cause arrest affidavit shared on Twitter by a reporter for news outlet Newsday.
Arrest affidavit for a woman in Boca Raton who said she’s Harry Potter after striking and killing a NY federal judge on a sidewalk in a hit-and-run crash (https://t.co/1iKNRoXhKC). pic.twitter.com/pMBfhb4lLR
— Matthew Chayes (@chayesmatthew) April 11, 2021
Snape reportedly had to be administered 400 mg. of Ketamine by medics so she would relax, according to local NBC affiliate WPTV.
According to the TV station, Snape later claimed to police that she was never involved in a crash.
Multiple reports confirmed police statements that they had found drugs on her possession when looking for an ID, including a synthetic designer drug known as "T" salts, which police claim may cause excited and erratic behavior.
According to WPTV, Snape will be charged with vehicular homicide, hit-and-run involving death, and leaving the scene of an accident with injury.
Following the announcement of Feuerstein's death, Acting US Attorney Mark Lesko took to Twitter to express his condolences and prayers.
"As we mourn her tragic death, we also remember Judge Feuerstein’s unwavering commitment to justice and service to the people of our district and our nation," Lesko tweeted.
(2/2) "As we mourn her tragic death, we also remember Judge Feuerstein’s unwavering commitment to justice and service to the people of our district and our nation," stated Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko.
— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) April 10, 2021
Feuerstein earned her law degree in 1979. She then became a judge in 1987 and was elected to the Supreme Court in 1994. After a stint in the Appellate Division Second Department, former US president George W. Bush nominated her in 2003 to the federal bench.
While serving in the Appellate Division, Feuerstein served alongside her mother Anette Elstein, who passed away in 2020 at the age of 99. According to Columbia University, the two were said to be the first mother-and-daughter judges in the nation.
Feuerstein was highly regarded by many of her colleagues, and had handled a number of high-profile cases throughout her career.
Speaking to Newsday, Joshua Glick, who had clerked for Feuerstein from 2006-2007, described her as humble and fair.
"She viewed a judge’s role as interpreting and not creating law. She was focused on writing clear and concise opinions that were easily understood," he wrote in an email to Newsday. "She was occasionally tough on litigants who she felt were not being fully candid with her, but she was always fair."
The two developed a close bond after his clerkship ended, and even frequented shows on Broadway together, Glick told Newsday, adding "I always said the judge was ‘my second Jewish mother.’"