A bizarre series of events led to the tragic hit-and-run death of a 75-year-old federal judge last week.
According to reports, Judge Sandra Feuerstein died as a result of the collision in Boca Raton, Florida, on Friday and the motorist accused of hitting her claimed to be the fictional literary character Harry Potter. Authorities identified the suspect as 23-year-old Nastasia Snape, who shares a surname with another character in the popular novel series.
“Eccentric style and warm personality”
Feuerstein had been appointed to preside over the Eastern District of New York in 2003 by then-President George W. Bush.
In a statement offering fond words of remembrance, Eugene Corcoran, who serves as the executive for the district, described the judge as “a treasured member” of the bench.
“Her eccentric style and warm personality lit up the courtroom,” he added. “She will be missed by her colleagues and litigants alike.”
In addition to striking Feuerstein, Snape is also accused of hitting 6-year-od Anthony Ovchinnikov as the child walked in a crosswalk. An Associated Press report indicated that the young victim had been transported to an area hospital, but his condition was not revealed.
Snape was allegedly driving on the sidewalk when she hit Feuerstein and swerved back onto the road surface, where she hit Ovchinnikov.
Bath salts believed to be a factor
A responding officer reported observing the suspect go into convulsions and display a blank stare upon approaching her. A synthetic narcotic known as bath salts were allegedly found in her possession.
After she was placed in an ambulance, Snape reportedly began to scream and fight with paramedics before insisting that she was the fictional wizard.
As of this writing, she remains behind bars at a Palm Beach County jail facing felony charges including vehicular homicide. Bond was set at $60,000 and it is unclear from available reports when she is expected to make her first court appearance.
Bath salts have been linked to a number of violent crimes, including a 2012 case in which Miami police fatally shot a man believed to be high on the substance as he was in the process of eating another man.
In that case, Randy Eugene was reportedly shot four times after refusing to stop biting victim Ronald Poppo, who was left with horrific facial injuries as a result.