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Family of Slain Cabbie Reacts to Grand Jury Decision

A possible civil suit could follow, sister says.

Days after a a Hampton Bays man on manslaughter charges , the taxi driver's family reacted to the news.

"We're very upset," said Jeannette Levasseur, mother of Robert Levasseur, the Riverhead taxi driver who died in April after a Hampton Bays incident.  "It's devastating."

Levasseur, a , died from injuries related to an incident that occurred on Montauk Highway near the Chase Bank in Hampton Bays on April 21.

According to, Robert Levasseur of Riverhead, 53, was allegedly struck in the head by Kenneth Tofty-Forrest, 27, of Hampton Bays. The police report stated that Levasseur suffered "significant face and head injuries" and was taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center by medevac and later transferred to Stony Brook University Medical Center, where he died.

Last week, a Suffolk County grand jury assault in the third degree and not manslaughter. If convicted of assault, Tofty-Forrest faces a year in jail. After appearing in court last week for court conferences, he is due back in court on Sept. 12.

Levasseur's mother questions why Tofty-Forrest allegedly struck her son and did not instead just try to intervene verbally during an incident involving him and Hampton Bays resident 

 According to Miller, Tofty-Forrest was coming to her defense. 

After learning of the grand jury's decision not to indict Tofty-Forrest on manslaughter charges, Miller said, "I think it's great. He was there to do the right thing, and things worked out." Justice, she said, was "absolutely" served.

But Levasseur's sister Lisa Schletch said the decision of the grand jury not to indict Tofty-Forrest for manslaughter "seems unjust. This is horrible. We're very upset. Even though the grand jury felt his intention wasn't to murder my brother, the outcome was death. This is beyond assault. My brother didn't survive this."

Schletch, who said she is very "upset and disappointed," added that her family is contemplating a civil suit. "We're getting through this right now," she said. "We were hoping for justice but it doesn't look like that's going to happen."

Her brother, Schletch said, was an easygoing, Christian man who attended church every Sunday and had no criminal record or history of violence. 

The tragedy, Schletch said, has impacted her entire family. "It's hard, because I keep getting flashbacks of seeing him in the hospital during those five days. His injuries were so horrific."

 

 

Tom July 24, 2012 at 12:33 PM
This decision is a disgrace. these two people hunted down the cab driver with the intent to hurt and possibly kill him. They are getting away with murder. The family should be appalled.!!!!!
Guess ? July 24, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Crazy
honest citizen July 31, 2012 at 04:45 PM
if everyone new "kt" like everyone in hampton bays does they would know he wil be out bragging in a couple weeks how he "killed someone with one punch" and got away with it! .....Criminal record? its only a matter of time before he hurts or kills someone else .... he deserves to be in prison!!!! its a comfort to know if someone punches me in the head and kills me they will get nothing but a slap on the wrist! GOOD CALL GRAND JURY, WE ARE ALL VERY PROUD OF YOU!
Keith James February 05, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Hi my name is anonymous and I like to bash peopeles names on the internet, about events that I wasn't around for. I totally believe everything I read on the internet and the newspapers. Because they ALWAYS tell the truth. Everyone on here talking shit are pussies. And fyi. Kt is a great person. Get to know someone before you judge them. Your all a Bunch of stupid assholes. Christina
Dennis February 05, 2013 at 04:04 PM
Does anyone know what actually happened? What kind of exchange was there between the cab driver and the woman? Was the cab driver roughing her up? If he was, I could see using violence to stop him from hurting her - but otherwise, what could possibly be the justification? If this man killed someone for no justifiable reason, the family of the deceased driver need only wait for justice - it WILL come.

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