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New York teen Joseph Beer convicted for crash that killed four friends

By Kyle Johnson,

A New York teen was found guilty on Friday of four counts of second-degree manslaughter, reckless driving and reckless endangerment stemming from a 2012 crash that killed four others in the car.

According to Newsday, Joseph Beer faces five to 15 years in prison after jurors were unable to agree on impairment charges. Prosecutors were looking for aggravated vehicular homicide as the teen admitted to smoking marijuana before driving, which would have added 25 years to any prison sentence.

Beer's lawyer Todd Greenberg said that the partial verdict likely means that the jurors couldn't decide whether the marijuana the teen smoked before driving really was a factor in the crash, reports The Associated Press. He noted that "we always maintained ... that Joseph Beer was not impaired and the impairment by marijuana did not cause the accident."

Bryant Barr, the common-law stepfather of Peter Kanhai, who died in the crash, noted simply that the conviction is "somewhat justice." He added, "It would have been great to see conviction on all charges, but it's part of the justice system. Sometimes you don't get the answers that you want to hear."

Beer was only 17 when he and his friends were on the Southern State Parkway and they reached an area nicknamed Dead Man's Curve while going more than 100 mph. Beer was the only one to survive the crash.

 
 

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