Thomas Costa, of Coram, pleads not guilty in Mount Sinai death of jogger Karen Benjamin
CENTRAL ISLIP - A Coram man pleaded not guilty today in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a jogger in Mount Sinai.
Thomas Costa is charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal accident. Police say Costa allegedly ran down Karen Benjamin on Canal Road last month.
The 56-year-old mother of two died from her injuries on July 17.
Police say car parts from the accident scene led them to search for a BMW. They say they found a BMW in the Mount Sinai backyard of Costa's parents.
Police say they traced DNA from blood on the side of the 31-year-old's car back to Benjamin. Costa allegedly told his parents his car was vandalized in a nightclub parking lot.
A spokesperson for Suffolk District Attorney Tom Spota says there is not enough evidence to charge Costa with vehicular manslaughter or homicide.
Investigators say Costa is a convicted felon who was on parole for burglary and drug possession charges at the time of the accident.
A judge ordered Costa to be held without bail. He is due back in court on Aug. 6.