Suspect in North Syracuse hit-and-run has history of driving without a license

Vontelle M. Sparks (New York State Police)

33-year-old Vontelle M. Sparks was charged Tuesday in connection to the North Syracuse hit-and-run that killed 27-year-old Larry Maturo.

But he was actually not even supposed to be on the road.

According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, Sparks' license was suspended for not paying child support and three suspensions for failure to answer a court summons.

Indeed, court documents obtained by CNYCentral Tuesday indicated that Sparks, of Camillus, hasn't had a valid license for some time. Back in March, he was pulled over in the Town of Clay for speeding and charged with being an unlicensed driver.

And that wasn't the only time.

A year ago, police stopped him for a tail light violation in May, also in the Town of Clay. And once again, he was charged with being an unlicensed driver. Four months later, Sparks was in trouble again — this time in Syracuse. He was charged with being an unlicensed driver yet again.

RELATED | 'He will always make me smile': Father and 'sibling cousins' fondly remember Larry Maturo

In August 2009, Sparks was also pulled over on Onondaga Lake Parkway and charged with being an unlicensed driver then as well.

Out of all the charges in Sparks' past, the DMV said he was convicted on three of those charges.

Sparks faces charges of Leaving the Scene of a Fatal Accident, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Conspiracy and Moving from Lane Unsafely.

Sparks was arraigned Tuesday evening and pleaded not guilty. He is being held on $150,000 cash bond. He will be back in court on June 18.

Four other people face charges related to the deadly hit and run, according to state police:

  • Ashley Cuozzo, 30, of Jamesville: Investigators identified her as Sparks' girlfriend. She faces charges of Tampering with Physical Evidence and Conspiracy.
  • Sylvester Livingston, 54, of Jamesville: Identified by state police as Cuozzo's father, Livingston faces a charge of Falsely Reporting an Incident.
  • Michelle Livingston, of Jamesville: Identified as Cuozzo's mother, Michelle Livingston is accused of Tampering with Physical Evidence and Conspiracy.
  • Lakeya Sparks, 39, of Syracuse: State police say Lakeya is Vontelle's sister: She faces charges of Tampering with Physical Evidence and Conspiracy.

Larry Maturo and his bicycle were found by a passerby and a trooper in the Town of Clay just outside the village of North Syracuse within moments of the collision at about 6:30 a.m. Monday. The passerby told state police they saw debris fly into the air from the collision. Troopers say Maturo was heading to his home from Planet Fitness and was just .2 miles away from his house when he was struck.

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