A Plea to Stop a Plea | NBC New York

A Plea to Stop a Plea

Man who struck and killed Sept. 11 survivor gets plea deal

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    Florence Cioffi, survived the attack on the World Trade Center, but died when an SUV struck and killed her in January 2008.

    If you think 15 days in jail isn't a fair trade for a woman's life, then you would agree with Lilly Alias. 

    "We are not here seeking vengeance for the death of my sister, rather, we are seeking. justice ... please do not accept this plea bargain," Alias told Judge James Burke in Manhattan criminal court. 

    Her sister, Florence Cioffi, survived the attack on the World Trade Center, but died when an SUV struck and killed her in January 2008. 

    George Anderson was behind the wheel and he was drunk at the time. He is also well of -- CEO of a computer company. In court, Anderson's emotions took hold. He shook and his voice broke while he read a prepared statement. 

    "My contrition is of no use to the family," he explained. After he hit Cioffi, Anderson left the scene of the accident. He returned about 20 minutes later.

    "I truly perceived I was acting responsibly," he read, but became too choked up to continue. An attorney had to finish his statement. 

    "Did the intoxication cause the death?" Assistant District Attorney David Hammer asked in court. "We can't prove that beyond a reasonable doubt." 

    Hammer also said Cioffi was drunk, having attended a birthday celebration, and was standing 15 feet into the street apparently hailing a cab when the accident happened. 

    Cioffi's family say they don't understand what her sobriety has to do with Anderson’s sobriety on that night. Anderson plead guilty to misdemeanor DUI and leaving the scene of an accident charges. The family accepts his apology but can't forgive him for his actions or the DA's office for the plea deal. The district attorney had no further comment.

    As Florence's fiancée Bill Mosca sees it, a "rich man got away with murder."

    The next step for the victim's family is to heal and go forward with a wrongful death lawsuit. Anderson was taken away in cuffs to Rikers Island. He will also have to complete 200 hours of community service and pay a $500 fine.