Long Island federal Judge Sandra Feuerstein was struck by a car and killed while walking on a sidewalk in Boca Raton, Florida, on Friday, April 9, 2021, authorities say. The driver, 23-year-old Nastasia Snape, fled from the scene and also ran over a 6-year-old boy, injuring him, before eventually crashing in Delray Beach, where she was taken into custody.
The 75-year-old Feuerstein was on vacation, ABC News reports. She was walking on a sidewalk about 10 a.m. when she was hit by the car. Feurstein was taken to Delray Medical Center and pronounced dead, police said. According to a police report obtained by Heavy, the boy who was also hit remained hospitalized in serious condition.
Feurstein was a district court judge in the Eastern District of New York. According to the EDNY website, she oversaw both criminal and civil cases, and was scheduled to return to her courtroom for hearings on Monday, April 12.
Snape, Who Told Police She Was Harry Potter, Is Facing Several Charges
Snape was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail on charges of negligent manslaughter with a vehicle, hit and run in a crash involving death and hit and run in a crash involving serious bodily injury. Snape is being held on $60,000 bail after making her first appearance in Palm Beach County court on April 10. She is scheduled to return to court on May 10.
According to the affidavit filed by police, witnesses said Snape was driving her two-door red sedan “erratically” near the intersection of North Ocean Boulevard and Northwest 40th Street in Boca Raton when she went around stopped traffic and onto a sidewalk, striking Feurstein. Witnesses told police Snape continued driving and hit a 6-year-old boy who was crossing the street in a crosswalk. The witnesses told police the driver did not stop or try to render aid after striking Feurstein and the boy. The witnesses were able to give the license plate number and description of the car to police, according to the affidavit.
Police said in the affidavit Snape was then found in nearby Delray Beach, where she had crashed. Snape was behind the wheel and appeared to be unconscious, police said. The first responding officer said he saw Snape “begin to convulse or have seizure like movements.” According to the affidavit, “she would not respond and stared into space. Snape stated that she was okay, however she was not making any eye contact or moving around as the typical person would be who had just been involved in a crash.”
According to police, Snape was taken to an ambulance and then she began to scream and fight with medics, and told them “she was Harry Potter.” The medics administered Ketamine to calm Snape down, police said. According to the affidavit, police found containers labeled “THC cannabis,” and a synthetic designer drug called “T salts” when searching Snape’s belongings. Police wrote, “Let it be known that ‘T’ salts are commonly known to cause erratic excited delirium like behavior.”
If Snape is released from custody, she will be fitted with a GPS monitor and will be required to surrender her passport, according to court documents. She will be represented by the public defender’s office, but the name of an attorney who could comment on her behalf was not listed in court records.
Feuerstein, Whose Mother Was Also a Judge, Was Appointed to the Federal Bench by President George W. Bush in 2003
(1/2) Acting U.S. Attorney Mark J. Lesko and @EDNYnews extend condolences and prayers to the Eastern District of New York Court community and the family of U.S. District Court Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein.
— US Attorney EDNY (@EDNYnews) April 10, 2021
Feurstein has served as a federal judge since she was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush on January 7, 2003, according to the Eastern District of New York website. The U.S. Senate confirmed her to the lifetime appointment on September 17, 2003, and she was commissioned five days later. She replaced Thomas E. Platt, Jr. in the EDNY.
Feurstein and her mother, Judge Annette Elstein, were the first mother-daughter duo on the federal bench, according to the Long Island Press. Elstein, who died in April 2020, was an immigration court judge and swore in Feurstein when she was commissioned in 2003.
The Cardozo community mourns the passing of U.S. District Judge Sandra Feuerstein '79. Former President George W. Bush appointed Feuerstein to the bench in 2003. She previously served as a New York State judge for 16 years. Our thoughts are with her family at this time. pic.twitter.com/MaF56myHeO
— Cardozo School of Law (@CardozoLaw) April 11, 2021
Feurstein, a New York City native, graduated from the University of Vermont in 1966 and from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 1979. Feurstein, according to her biography on the EDNY website, was a teacher in New York City public schools from 1966 to 1971. After law school, Feurstein was a law clerk for the New York Supreme Court Law Department from 1980 to 1985 and a law clerk for the Honorable Leo H. McGinity of the New York State Appellate Division from 1985 to 1987.
Feursstein became a judge in Nassau County District Court in 1987 and served there until 1994. She then became a justice in the New York Supreme Court Tenth Judicial District from 1994 to 1999 and associate justice in the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division Second Judicial Department from 1999 to 2003.
Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Mark J. Lesko extended condolences and prayers to Feurstein’s family and wrote in a statement, “As we mourn her tragic death, we also remember Judge Feuerstein’s unwavering commitment to justice and service to the people of our district and our nation.”