Ex-Manchester detective’s hit-and-run hearing postponedBy MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
February 18. 2014 8:33PM
MANCHESTER — The father of a teenager hurt in an accident caused by alleged hit-and-run driver Stephen Coco said he wants the former Manchester police officer to be convicted of felony charges.
Bedford resident Roy Drukker spoke on Tuesday, a day when Coco, his lawyer and prosecutors appeared in a Hillsborough County Superior Court-North courtroom. A hearing on the charges was cut short when Judge Gillian Abramson did not make it to court.
“As a parent, we’re concerned about the charges. Two counts for felony conduct after an accident, I feel that’s the correct charge,” said Drukker, whose son and son’s friend were hit last March while walking down Harrod Lane, a quiet residential street in Bedford.
Within days, Manchester Police Chief David Mara fired the 17-year police veteran, and Bedford police later charged Coco with leaving the scene of the accident.
Prosecutors initially worked out a deal for a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge, but that drew anger from the parents of the two teenagers struck by the Coco vehicle. Abramson evenutally rejected the plea bargain as inadequate.
Marc Hathaway, the special prosecutor in the case, and Coco’s attorney filed papers with a court clerk and then left the courtroom, Drukker said.
Drukker, who once said he’d like to see the case go to trial, said Tuesday he’d be happy with Coco pleading guilty to felony charges. “We don’t really know what the proper penalties are. We feel confident the judge will enact a fair penalty,” he said. He said he expects Coco will deny any knowledge of hitting the two.
Coco faces two felonies, each which carry a 3 1/2 to seven year sentence.
The accident caused serious injury to Drukker’s son, Dean Drukker, who suffered bleeding on the brain. And it caused emotional trauma to Noah Hickman, who believed his friend was dying, Drukker said.
Both are now in college and did not attend Tuesday’s hearing. It was unclear when the hearing will be held.