Today’s news:

Judge sentences hit−and−run driver to 3−9 years in prison

A Richmond Hill man convicted of killing a 12−year−old boy in a 2006 hit−and−run accident was sentenced to up to nine years in prison last week, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Juan Franjul, 48, of 87−57 th St., was driving a dark blue 1993 Mercedes−Benz 500 SEL that was left by a customer at his Willets Point body shop when he got into a minor accident at Atlantic Avenue and 111th Street in Richmond Hill on Dec. 16, 2006, Brown said.

Franjul told the driver of a Toyota who was also involved in the accident that he would pay to fix the car and there was no need to call the police, the DA said.

When the Toyota driver called a family member on his cell phone, Franjul sped off westbound on Atlantic Avenue, going about 40 mph to 50 mph as he went through a red light and hit 12−year−old Jacob Colon, the DA said.

The Richmond Hill boy was getting quarters for his mother to use in a Laundromat when he was hit and then taken to Jamaica Hospital, where he died, Brown said.

Queens Supreme Court Justice Richard Buchter sentenced Franjul to between three and nine years in prison Jan. 8 after he pleaded guilty Nov. 3 to manslaughter, Brown said.

“As a consequence of trying to avoid reporting a minor fender bender, the defendant will now serve up to nine years behind bars for the senseless death of a young boy who was busy running an errand for his mother when he was struck and killed by the car being driven by the defendant,” the DA said in a statement.

Franjul was arrested Dec. 17, 2006 ,after he surrendered at the 102nd Precinct station in Woodhaven, Brown said. The Mercedes, which belonged to a customer of Franjul’s who was not named, was recovered from Franjul’s driveway with front−end damage.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.

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