SCHOHARIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A new tentative trial date has been set for Nauman Hussain, the operator of the limo company involved in the 2018 Schoharie limo crash that killed 20 people. According to Hussain’s lawyer, his new trial date is set for October 31.
The Schoharie County Court tells NEWS10 that a hearing is set for September 14 to discuss the trial that could begin on Halloween. This comes after a Schoharie County Court judge rejected Hussain’s plea deal on August 31. Hussain was set to be formally sentenced to five years of probation after a plea was struck in September 2021.
Judge Peter Lynch instead offered Hussain to take 1.3 years to 4 years in prison, or go to trial. The defense chose to go to trial. Judge Lynch, who took over the case after the previous judge George Bartlett IIII retired, said the plea deal was made by Bartlett, not he, and that “I am not going to abide by the plea agreement”, which elicited cheers from the gallery where many of the victims’ families were sitting.
Five victim impact statements were read in court after the plea was vacated. Hussain reportedly said nothing in regard to the statements.
In September 2021, Hussain pleaded guilty to 20 counts of criminally negligent homicide. He was initially sentenced to two years of interim probation and 1,000 hours of community service.
After completing the two years of interim probation, Hussain was supposed to be formally sentenced to five years probation, which the judge rejected on August 31. Hussain is also prohibited from owning, operating, or working for any commercial transportation business.