By Marcus E. Howard
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A suburban New York teenager who challenged a friend to a drag race that led to five deaths in 2014 was sentenced on Friday to six months in jail and five years of probation, the Nassau County District Attorney said.
Cory Gloe, 19, of Farmingdale in Long Island, had pleaded guilty in March to all charges in a 17-count grand jury indictment relating to the crash. He was sentenced for manslaughter as a youthful offender, which means his criminal record would be sealed, by acting state Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy.
Prosecutors had pressed for a prison term of one to three years.
Gloe’s attorney, Stephen LaMagna, was not immediately available for comment.
Parents of the victims of the crash which occurred in Farmingdale, about 37 miles east of Manhattan, criticized the relatively short jail sentence.
“How many passes will Mr. Gloe receive?” Sandy Lonnborg, the mother of a victim, asked in court on Friday, Newsday reported.
When he pleaded guilty, Gloe posted an Instagram selfie outside court with a message cursing police, the New York Daily News reported. That same day, he also allegedly posted messages on social media including, “I’ll be in and out faster than you can spin a doubt,” the paper added.
Days later, Gloe was arrested on a weapon charge when he was a passenger in a car that had been stopped for speeding.
Gloe will serve his sentence in a jail in East Meadow, less than 10 miles from his hometown.
Prosecutors say Gloe, then 17, was driving a 2008 Toyota Scion just after midnight on May 10, 2014, when he left a mall parking lot where he had taken part in street races.
He and a friend, Tristan Reichle, 17, who was carrying four passengers in a 2001 Nissan Sentra, had spotted each other at a red traffic light and agreed to race, according to prosecutors.
During the race, Reichle’s car crossed the center line and crashed into oncoming traffic. Reichle and passengers Jesse Romero, 18; Carly Lonnborg, 14; Noah Francis, 15; and Cody Talanian, 17, were killed. Two other motorists were injured and are still recovering, authorities said.
District Attorney Madeline Singas has called the tragedy “completely preventable.”
(Reporting by Marcus E. Howard; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Richard Chang)