NYC teen Joseph Beer gets up to 15 years in prison Long Island crash that killed four friends

By Daniel S Levine,

A Queens, New York teenager has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison for a 2012 car crash on Long Island that killed four of his friends. He admitted to authorities that he had smoked marijuana and was speeding before the crash.

Beer, now 19, had agreed to plead guilty in July for aggravated vehicular homicide, reports NBC New York. His case had gone to trial, but the jury could not reach a verdict. Instead of putting his friends’ families through another trial, his attorney said he decided to reach a plea deal.

“I hate myself for what I've done,” Beer said during the hearing Tuesday. He also asked for forgiveness from the families.

During the hearing, a mother of one of the victims did speak, giving a tearful statement. She said that she understood that Beer didn’t mean to kill his friends, but called the day of the crash the worst of her life.

“Whatever it is, it’s not going to bring back my son,” Sharon Rajapa, the mother, said of the sentence, reports CBS New York. “My son is already dead and that’s never going to change, whether he has 10 years, 15 years or 25 years.”

The fiery crash occurred in October 2012 on the Southern State Parkway. All five people in the car were ejected from the vehicle when it struck a tree. Darian Ramnarine, Christopher Khan, Neal Rajapa and Peter Kanhai were killed, but Beer survived with minor injuries.

In addition to aggravated vehicular homicide, Beer also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of marijuana.



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