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Aug 15, 2017 3:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Ludwick Pleads Guilty In Crash That Killed Paul Hansen; Will Serve 3 To 9 Years In Prison

Sean Ludwick accepted a plea deal in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on Tuesday, in which he will serve between three and nine years in state prison.  TOM MCMORROW/POOL PHOTO
Aug 15, 2017 5:03 PM

Sean Ludwick, a part-time Bridgehampton resident, on Tuesday pleaded guilty to crashing his car while drunk and leaving his passenger, Sag Harbor resident Paul Hansen, to die on the side of a Sag Harbor street nearly two years ago.

Under the terms of a pre-arranged plea deal, he will serve between three and nine years in state prison. An official sentencing will take place in the fall.

Mr. Ludwick, 44, who appeared in State Supreme Court in Central Islip on Tuesday in front of Justice Fernando Camacho, spoke directly to Mr. Hansen’s family members in court.

“I’d just like to say I’m very sorry—I feel awful for the circumstances. I want to extend my deepest sympathies and remorse … particularly to Austin and Hunter,” he said, referring to Mr. Hansen’s two sons.

Mr. Ludwick, who was a prominent real estate developer in Manhattan at the time of the accident on August 30, 2015, pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident, both felonies, as well as aggravated DWI, a misdemeanor.

Under the deal, he will serve three to nine years on the first count, one to three years on the second count, and one year on the third count. The three sentences will run concurrently, according to Justice Camacho.

In court, Mr. Ludwick admitted to driving his vehicle with a blood-alcohol content level of 0.18 percent, driving recklessly and causing the death of Mr. Hansen. He then admitted to driving away from the scene.

By pleading guilty, Mr. Ludwick waived his right to appeal. When the criminal case concludes, he also is expected to face a civil lawsuit filed by the family of the victim.

“He expressed his apologies and accepted responsibility,” Mr. Ludwick’s attorney, William Keahon, said after the court appearance on Tuesday, adding that his client is working “to resolve the civil case and put this case behind us.”

Bob Hansen, the victim’s brother, who has been a spokesman for the family, said afterward, “I think we appreciated his words. I think we just appreciated that he recognized that. Whether it’s his true feelings or it’s not his true feelings, I can’t really tell you—you’d have to ask him. … I think the family appreciates him addressing us.”

Mr. Ludwick is expected to be sentenced in State Supreme Court in Central Islip on October 18.

Court documents show that after the crash, police found Mr. Ludwick standing next to his damaged Porsche convertible on Woodvale Street in Sag Harbor, about a quarter mile from the place where the accident occurred, not far from Mr. Hansen’s residence, on Rolling Hill Court East. He was heading toward his Bridgehampton home, police said, and they traced trails of fluid and gouged pavement marks from the damaged car rims back to the accident scene, where Mr. Hansen—a friend of Mr. Ludwick—was found dead.

Scott Middleton, the attorney representing the Hansen family in the civil case, said Mr. Ludwick’s apology in court was “a long time in coming.”

He added, “Nothing that transpires here today, or on October 18, is going to bring Paul back. The family’s still in mourning, and they’ve always felt that it’s not their role to be involved in the sentencing or determining what sentence is appropriate.”

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