News: Murder Conviction Upheld for Drunk Driver
(Long Island, N.Y.) A Valley Stream man was denied a reduction of charges after being convicted of depraved-indifference murder. The conviction came after a 2005 drunk driving incident that left two dead, including a seven-year-old flower girl. The then twenty-four-year-old heavily intoxicated driver had been traveling the wrong way on the Meadowbrook Parkway when he collided with a limousine coming home from a wedding.
Thursday's decision from a State Appellate Court upheld the depraved-indifference murder conviction, denying the requests of the defendant and his attorney. The man had been found with blood alcohol levels that were three times the legal limit. Reports stated that the choice to uphold the more severe charges was attributed to a three to one decision that came from the State Appellate Division Second Department.
The depraved-indifference murder charges imply that the defendant has been guilty of reckless conduct. The reckless behavior also must coincide with a grave risk of death which leads to a depraved indifference to human life. While at least one official believed that the murder charges were excessive, most agreed with the court's decision to uphold the initial conviction.
According to reports, one official seemed to believe that those deciding should overlook the tragic aspects of the case and reduce the charges to second-degree manslaughter. Similarly, the defense attorney argued that the action wasn't deliberate. Nonetheless, the Nassau County district attorney was pleased with the decision, and along with family members of the victims, agreed that justice has been served.
The 2005 incident occurred after a responsible family, coming home from a wedding reception in Bayville, utilized limousine service for their ride back to Lido Beach. The fifty-nine-year-old driver absorbed the worst wave of impact, along with the wedding party's seven-year-old flower girl. She had recently made her communion at Saint Ignatius Church in Long Beach.
The girl's parents and grandparents were inside the limousine, and she is also survived by younger siblings. Some reports claimed that the defendant had a record of charges prior to the incident and has received eighteen-to-life in an upstate prison. His Manhattan attorney has allegedly asked the State Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, to review the case.
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