L.I. Woman Sentenced for Killing NYPD Highway Unit Detective

L.I. Woman Sentenced for Killing NYPD Highway Unit Detective

By Michael V. Cusenza

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Jessica Beauvais was sentenced last week to more than 20 years in prison for speeding through an NYPD roadblock while drunk and killing Det. Anastasios Tsakos, who was diverting traffic around a fatal collision on the Long Island Expressway in Fresh Meadows. Beauvais, whose blood alcohol content was nearly twice the legal limit two hours after striking Detective Tsakos, and who told police she had also smoked marijuana, was driving with a suspended license at the time of the 2021 tragedy.

Beauvais, 35, of Hempstead, was convicted following a 13-day trial in October of aggravated manslaughter in the second degree, vehicular manslaughter in the second degree and leaving the scene of an incident without reporting. Queens Supreme Court Justice Michael Aloise last Wednesday sentenced Beauvais to 20 years in prison on the aggravated manslaughter charge; and to two-and-one-third to seven years in prison for leaving the scene of an incident. The sentences are to run consecutively, followed by five years’ post-release supervision.

According to the charges and trial testimony:

On April 27, 2021, at approximately 1:45 a.m., NYPD Detective Anastasios Tsakos and his highway patrol partner placed traffic cones and a marked police vehicle on the eastbound side of the Long Island Expressway near the Clearview Expressway exit to direct traffic around a fatal crash.

Tsakos was standing just beyond the roadblock, at approximately 1:57 a.m., when Beauvais sped through the traffic cones in a 2013 Volkswagen Passat and struck him.

The impact threw Tsakos and severed his left leg at the knee. His body landed approximately 170 feet away on the highway’s shoulder.

Without ever stopping, Beauvais sped away from the scene and exited the Long Island Expressway. Police pursued her for approximately three miles. She eventually drove onto the sidewalk in front of 221-22 Horace Harding Expressway, put her car in reverse and hit a police cruiser behind her.

Beauvais was removed from her car and arrested. She had bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong smell of alcohol on her breath. Two hours after the incident, she had a blood alcohol content of .15, nearly twice the legal maximum threshold of .08.

Beauvais told police she had smoked marijuana and drank wine earlier in the day.

After being hit, Tsakos was rushed to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries shortly afterward.

“Her license had been suspended, she was drunk and had smoked marijuana. For everyone’s safety and wellbeing, including her own, the defendant should not have been behind the wheel of a car. A police officer, doing his job protecting others, lost his life,” Katz said. “I hope today’s sentence provides at least some closure for the detective’s loved ones.”

Tsakos’ widow, Irene, spoke directly to Beauvais as she delivered her victim impact statement.

“You killed my husband, an innocent man, a good man, who did nothing to you,” Irene told Beauvais at her sentencing, per a Newsday report. “That’s on your conscience. I have been consumed by this case and starving for justice for my husband and our family. I hope to get some solace after today. I know we will never get over our loss but I hope that God will help us put the pieces of our life together.”


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