N.Y. Subway Motorman Indicted on 5 Murder Counts; Bail Denied
A judge denied bail Tuesday for a motorman who was indicted by a grand jury on five counts of second-degree murder by depraved indifference in a high-speed subway crash last week.
The charge against Robert Ray, 38, carries a sentence of 15 years to life in prison upon conviction, Assistant Dist. Atty. Dan Brownel said. Ray stood silently as the grand jury action was revealed at a bail hearing before acting state Justice Brenda Soloff.
Ray was picked up near his home in the Bronx a few hours after the crash last Wednesday. Court documents indicate that he told police he had been drinking before and after the crash.
Defense attorney Michael Parson asked that Ray be released on bail, saying he had “no prior arrest record, not even a traffic violation.” But in denying bail, the judge noted that Ray had left the scene.
“I’m not in a position to evaluate his motives,” Soloff said. “But, given the irresponsible way that he acted, it indicates something about his probability of returning to court.”
The East Side subway was back in service Tuesday for the first post-Labor Day rush hour. The Lexington Avenue line normally serves 500,000 riders a day, linking suburban commuter railroads at Grand Central Station with the financial district and government offices downtown.
The force of the crash, just north of the 14th Street-Union Square station, tore apart two of the 10 cars and smashed about 22 steel columns that support the roof over the subway tunnel.