Gravesend man, 28, sentenced for role in death of 12-year-old Joie Sellers

A 28-year-old Brooklyn man has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree murder for a fatal Flatlands accident that left a young girl dead and her mother and sister seriously injured, announced District Attorney Ken Thompson on Monday, May 16.

According to the investigation, just before 5 p.m. on July 2, 2014, Robert DeCarlo of Gravesend was driving 20 miles over the speed limit in a 2005 Dodge Caravan minivan westbound on Flatlands Avenue, near Schenectady, when he lost control of his vehicle and mounted the sidewalk.

DeCarlo struck three pedestrians – 12-year-old Joie Sellers, nine-year-old Charli Sellers and 38-year-old Marcia Landais – before climbing out of the window and fleeing the scene.

Joie succumbed to her injuries at Kings County Hospital, whereas her sister was in a coma for several weeks. The girls’ mother suffered pelvic fractures, and both Charli and Marcia underwent physical therapy to recover from their injuries.

DeCarlo surrendered the day after the accident. According to Thompson, the minivan had been stolen days prior to the fatal crash.

“Robert DeCarlo was sentenced to the maximum allowed by law on this case, but this will never compensate for the loss of Joie Sellers, a beautiful and vibrant young girl who was robbed of her life because of the defendant’s reckless and irresponsible actions,” Thompson said. “We will continue to hold drivers accountable for the choices they make behind the wheel.”

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