Suspect in Long Island crash that killed 5 takes plea deal

CENTRAL ISLIP, Long Island (WABC) -- The man police say was speeding in a stolen car when he caused a chain-reaction crash that killed five people on Long Island on Valentine's Day in 2018 accepted a plea deal ahead of his murder trial Wednesday.

Jamel Turner, 24, faced five counts of depraved indifference murder and aggravated vehicular homicide as part of an indictment that included 37 felony charges.

Turner pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide, assault and other charges and will face a maximum of 27 years in prison and five years' probation. Had he rejected the offer, he would have faced 50 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.

"Our job is to deliver justice on behalf of the victims and their families; this is a significant sentence that does just that," District Attorney Tim Sini said. "This is a dangerous individual, and he will now be off the streets for a very long time."

Four vehicles, including an oil truck, collided on Middle Country Road, Route 25, in Ridge on February 14, 2018.

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.


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.

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 had 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."

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