Man sentenced 27 years for deadly 2018 Valentine's Day crash that killed 5, dog on Long Island

CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- An alleged gang member who caused a crash that killed five people on Valentine's Day in 2018 was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison.

The 25-year-old suspect, Jamel Turner, of Bellport, refused to leave his jail cell Tuesday morning for his sentencing. He reportedly filed a motion seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, which the judge called "ludicrous."

Turner eventually showed up nearly five hours late and was sentenced to the terms of the April plea deal: to serve 27 years in jail plus five years' probation.

Turner killed five people and his own dog in a crash on Middle Country Road in Ridge on Valentine's Day in 2018. He was fleeing from police -- at a speed as high as 154 miles per hour -- in a stolen car. He was reportedly high on marijuana and in possession of crack.

"(He was) so high, that the Medical Examiner said it was the second-highest level of marijuana that they've ever seen in a living (person). He was traveling that speeds up to 154 miles per hour, the speed at which jetliners take off," said Timothy Sini, Suffolk County's District Attorney.

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



After his failure to blame the stolen Camaro for the deaths and withdraw the plea, Turner appeared in court, at one point apologizing to his victims. His girlfriend and mother were also in court and declined to comment.

Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho called Turner's attempted withdraw Tuesday a "ploy to avoid the consequences of his heinous crime."

Camacho said if Turner continued to refuse, he would have waived his right to speak at his sentencing and serve life in prison.

Turner's lawyer, Scott Gross, didn't seem to think his client would show up and said his sentencing turned out to be the best scenario possible.

"There is no good outcome here ... but we did protect his ability to be a free man in his early 40s," he said.

Photos: Fatal crash in Suffolk County


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