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Driver in Cordero Death Gets 6 Months

February 6, 2003

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) _ A man who pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident that claimed the life of former trainer Marjorie Clayton Cordero _ the wife of Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero _ was sentenced Thursday to six months in jail.

As it had done previously, the Cordero family decried the sentence as inadequate.

``I feel he got away with murder,″ Angel Cordero told Newsday. The jockey and his family were at the Mineola courthouse Thursday for the sentencing.

Robert Mikols, 63, a crane operator from Glen Cove, admitted in court last October that on the night of Jan. 22, 2001, his car struck and killed Marjorie Cordero in Greenvale.

Cordero, 41, was struck, apparently from behind, as she walked home. More than three months after the accident, Mikols surrendered to police.

A spokesman for District Attorney Denis Dillon said prosecutors were unable to charge Mikols with being criminally liable for the accident because of a lack of evidence.

Angel Cordero expressed his outrage shortly after Miklos took the plea deal.

``It is pitiful to know that the person who did this is going to get away with it,″ Cordero said. ``She was just laying there for who knows how long, and he just didn’t care.″

Miklos declined to make a statement during his sentencing on Thursday.

One of New York racing’s most popular figures on the backstretch, Marjorie Cordero was a jockey from 1982-1985, winning 71 races from 911 mounts and earning more than $1 million in purses. She turned to training and won 42 races from 400 starters from 1985-99.

Her husband retired from racing in 1992 after a near-fatal spill at Aqueduct five months earlier. He was a trainer for several years before becoming an agent.