Cecilia DowdDec 6, 2017, 5:53 pmDec 7, 2017, 1:57 pm

Teen in Great Neck charged with murder, accused of crashing car with man on hood

Attorney argues defendant’s actions were justified

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MINEOLA — A Long Island man is facing a slew of new charges in connection with the death of a man who was on the hood of the car the defendant was driving.

Murder, manslaughter and operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs are just some of the charges 19-year-old Christian Arevalo is facing in connection with the death of 20-year-old Corey Howell in August.

Prosecutors say Arevalo was driving with Howell on the hood of his car in Great Neck for more than a mile at times going more than 60 miles an hour. A horrific head injury is what ultimately led to Howell's death, prosecutors say.

But there's more to the story, says defense attorney Brian Griffin.

“The law is very clear, abundantly clear, that Mr. Arevalo was within his rights to leave that day. He was the victim of a vicious attack, both himself and his girlfriend, and the law justifies him leaving and self-preservation,” Griffin said.

According to Griffin, Howell repeatedly went after his client.

Maureen Howell was raw with emotion in court on Monday, speaking about how the death of her son impacted her children.

“My kids are so depressed. We're church-going people. Charles says he's not going anymore. Christopher calls me, he says, 'Mommy I'm so sad. I miss my brother.' He's the one who witnessed everything you know. Christopher followed this boy when he picked up Corey and put him on the hood of the car. He's very traumatized,” she said.

But again, Griffin says Arevalo was justified in his behavior.

“It is very rare indeed on the day of your arraignment when the district attorney's office gives you significant favorable material evidence that supports your client's case. Today, we were handed the name of at least five police officers including two of which are detectives that undermine the very charges that are brought today,” Griffin said.

The bail, in this case, is $1 million.

Arevalo entered a not guilty plea, his next court date is set for January.

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