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Two Admit Guilt In Death Of Fellow Teen Dragged By SUV In Area

A teen was killed after falling from the side of an SUV.
A teen was killed after falling from the side of an SUV. Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

Two teenagers have admitted to their roles in the death of a 15-year-old John Jay of East Fishkill High School student after they attempted to steal marijuana and dragged him along the side of an SUV in the area last year.

District Attorney William Grady announced on Friday, June 14, that East Fishkill resident Anthony Puccio, 18, has pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, a felony. His plea comes after Paul Mauro, 16, pleaded guilty to the same charge for his role in the death of William Santiago.

Grady said that both teens admitted that they agreed to steal marijuana from their victim, William Santiago, who they told they wished to purchase the drug.

While the drug deal was taking place at Puccio’s SUV, he admitted to grabbing the marijuana through an open window and speeding away. Santiago was dragged away while holding onto the vehicle, falling after being punched by Mauro, forcing him to the ground.

The incident unfolded around 4:10 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 12 last year, when a state police patrol was traveling southeast on Clove Branch Road near Henry Drive in Hopewell Junction when Santiago was observed clinging to the passenger side of an SUV traveling in the opposite direction, said New York State Police Trooper AJ Hicks.

Santiago died as a result of striking the pavement and fracturing his skull, Grady said.

The teens have been scheduled to be sentenced on July 19, when prosecutors will recommend a sentence of between four and 12 years in prison, “as a result of this senseless tragedy.” 

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