Thomas Herman, 48, is set to serve a long time in prison, 21 years to be precise, after pleading guilty to manslaughter. The Patchogue man caused a fatal accident in Sayville in January 2013, which killed one person and seriously injured another.
According to Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, Herman was intoxicated and high on morphine, PCP, and other drugs when he collided head on with a car driven by West Islip resident Sam Longo. The 82 year old man was killed while Anne Gilbert, 79, of Oakdale, a passenger in Longo’s car, sustained serious injuries.
Murder by depraved indifference
Police reports indicate that the accident took place on Montauk Highway in Sayville. According to Suffolk County NY DUI attorneys, Herman pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter. Earlier a grand jury had indicted him on multiple counts that included aggravated vehicular homicide, second degree murder by depraved indifference, and other counts.
Suffolk County DA Spota Babylon resident Michael Grasing’s case was the perfect example of the huge legal burden to prove a person is guilty of murder by depraved indifference beyond a reasonable doubt. Grasing was recently acquitted by a jury on a murder count despite registering a blood alcohol content level four times the legal limit at 0.32 when he killed a Liindenhurst teenager after crashing into her vehicle in 2012.
Grasing gets away with 8 and half years
Grasing was convicted by a jury after a long trial for aggravated vehicular homicide and was awarded the minimum punishment of 8 and half years. Under the current law, Grasing could be eligible for parole after serving seven years.
He also has the opportunity to appeal before the parole board a year later if his initial parole is denied. On the other hand, Herman is now liable to spend over two decades in prison after pleading guilty and will be not be eligible for parole until 2032. Sentencing has been set for May 15th. It is amazing that you can kill someone one the road driving drunk and even high on drugs and you are not always guaranteed to do at least 20 years in prison. In fact, some people want to know why is the death penalty off the table?
Southampton man sentenced for deadly DUI crash
In other DUI related news, 21 year old Jesse Werner Steudte has been sentenced to four to 12 years behind bars for causing a fatal drunk driving crash in May of last year. According to prosecutors, Steudte failed to stop at a traffic light and struck Neil Fyfe, a Southampton golf course caddy, who was crossing the road at the corner of Sandy Hollow Road. Fyfe succumbed to his injuries after being rushed to Southampton Hospital.
Steudte pleaded guilty to multiple charges including manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, and driving under the influence. He pleaded guilty before Judge Fernando Camacho at Suffolk County court.
According to Suffolk County NY DUI attorneys, the county had the unenviable distinction of registering the most alcohol related accidents as compared to other counties in the state of NY between 2010 and 2012. Records from the New York State Department of Transportation show that Suffolk registered 3,561 cases while Nassau County was lower at 2,366.