BY ALFONSO A. CASTILLO | email@example.com Alejandro Xuya-Sian did more than shred the skin on his victim's body -- he shredded his victim's dignity, making him feel "too embarrassed" by his appearance to face the drunken driver who nearly dragged him to his death, a judge said as he sentenced Xuya-Sian to 3 1/3 to 10 years in prison.
"You didn't just injure him physically. You shattered his life," Suffolk County Judge James Hudson told Xuya-Sian before he imposed his sentence. Hudson said Xuya-Sian treated his victim with less regard than he should "an injured animal."
Xuya-Sian, 27, pleaded guilty last month to vehicular assault, driving while intoxicated, leaving the scene of an accident and other charges.
Suffolk prosecutors said Xuya-Sian struck Anselmo Chin-Sabam, 21, with his 2002 GMC Envoy in the parking lot of a Riverhead bar in April. Chin-Sabam became lodged in the front left wheel of the SUV, and had his skin shredded as Xuya-Sian drove three-quarters of a mile before realizing he was there.
Assistant District Attorney Thalia Stavrides said Xuya-Sian "stopped the car, got out and undoubtedly dislodged him from the car," then kept driving, crashing into a tree about two miles away. Stavrides said Xuya-Sian was arrested with blood-alcohol level of .08 percent, right at the legal limit.
Chin-Sabam suffered first-degree burns on more than 40 percent of his body, multiple fractures and had some parts of his body torn to the muscle, Stavrides said. He is still recovering and was in no condition to be in court Thursday, she said.
Given the opportunity to make a statement before receiving his sentence, Xuya-Sian began speaking when his Legal Aid attorney, Bryan Browns, interrupted him. Browns took him to the side, and then said his client would remain silent.
Browns said Xuya-Sian, an illegal immigrant, had two children and a wife in his native Guatemala and had been working a $450-a week job to help support them.
"He regrets and he takes full responsibility for what happened," Browns said in court. "I think his time in prison is going to allow him to reflect and get on with his life."
Hudson said he would recommend that Xuya-Sian be deported after completing his sentence -- a sentence that Hudson said was "too lenient" because of limitations of law.
"[The sentence] is not enough to give consolation to your victim that this is how such a violation of his body was punished," Hudson said.