Former deputy attorney general who killed state worker with his car is refusing rehab

TRENTON — A Pennington man is being held without bail for ignoring a court order to check himself into an alcohol rehabilitation clinic after a 2010 crash left a city employee dead.

Keith Costill

Keith Costill, 57, a former N.J. deputy attorney general, was sentenced in June 2012 to five years of probation after he pled guilty to assault by automobile, according to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office.

In July 2010, Costill rammed his 2003 Buick SUV into Hikema George, a Department of Education employee, as she smoked a cigarette during a break. According to reports, George was pinned to a wall at the Trenton Riverfront Plaza and severely injuring one of her legs. She died shortly after from injuries she sustained from the crash.
According to reports, there was no evidence that Costill was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, But state police were called to Costill’s state office building July 8, 2010 after co-workers complained he was intoxicated. Costill was brought to a hospital, where he stayed overnight. The next morning, he called two co-workers to pick him up from the hospital and bring him back to work. Once there, about 10 a.m., according to previous reports, Costill told co-workers he had to move his car and that is when he lost control of the SUV which jumped the curve and hit George.
The prosecutor’s office confirmed that Costill completed part of his mandated probation, including 100 hours of community service and paying restitution to George’s family for funeral expenses. However, Costill violated part of his probation when he refused to check himself into a rehabiliation facility.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Costill did not receive treatment for alcoholism and was repeatedly found with elevated blood alcohol level during random evaluations conducted by probation officers.
Costill was arrested by Hopewell police just a few days after his sentencing and was found to have a .14 blood alcohol level. The state legal limit for driving is .08.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Sumners issued a bench warrant for Costill’s arrest when he failed to appear for a hearing Sept. 27. Costill was arrested at his home on Oct. 5. At his bail hearing Monday morning, Costill was remanded to the county correctional facility without bail until a violation of probation hearing on Oct. 25 or until he agrees to check himself into an in-patient treatment facility.

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