Suspect in Long Island crash that killed 5 charged in 42-count indictment

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Stacey Sager reports on suspect Jamel Turner, who faces five counts of depraved indifference murder and aggravated vehicular homicide.

The man police say was speeding in a stolen car when he caused a chain-reaction crash that killed five people on Long Island back on Valentine's Day was charged in a 42-count indictment Thursday.

Four vehicles, including an oil truck, collided on Middle Country Road, Route 25, in Ridge on February 14.

The suspect, 23-year-old Jamel Turner, faces five counts of depraved indifference murder and aggravated vehicular homicide. The indictment includes 37 felony charges.

At the time of the crash, authorities say Turner was driving a stolen Chevrolet Camaro at approximately 154 miles per hour.

RAW VIDEO: Moments after crash, frantic 911 call
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Five people were killed in a fiery, multi-vehicle crash in Ridge.


In court Thursday, he made faces at times and even rolled his eyes as prosecutors described him as remorseless. They also called him a drug dealer, a gang member, and someone who was looking to "get busy on the boys," that is, take police on a high speed chase no matter what the cost.

Police were alerted to the stolen vehicle by the STARS GPS vehicle-tracking system. But there was no police pursuit, they said, in part because officers could not keep up with the Camaro.

"To be precise, he was traveling at the point of initial impact, speed of 154 miles per hour," Suffolk County District Attorney Tim Sini said. "That is faster than commercial jets go to take off."

Three of the people killed were members of the same family, identified as 55-year-old Jacquelyn McCoy, her 36-year-old daughter Mary Alice Booker, her son 33-year-old Anthony McCoy. McCoy's friend, 42-year-old Tameka Foster, was also killed. Both Turner's passenger, identified as 19-year-old Lonidell Skinner, and a dog were ejected from the Camaro and also died.

Photos: Fatal crash in Suffolk County

Turner's defense lawyer adamantly disputed the DA's version of events.

"It was an accident," attorney Donald Mates said. "There's no murder here. It's an ill-conceived, overcharged indictment."

Turner's girlfriend was also in the courtroom.

"I believe that (police) were bothering him, I honestly do," Janette Patterson said. "Why would he be running from them?...He didn't steal a car. That was not a stolen car. They make it seem like he's a bad person. He's not a gang member...He didn't own the car. It was a rental."

In February, Turner pleaded not guilty during a hospital bedside arraignment to charges of second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and second-degree reckless endangerment.

But Sini, who called it one of the worst motor vehicle crashes in Suffolk County's history, said at the time he anticipated upgraded charges.

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