MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) — A New York man initially given a six-month jail sentence and probation for his role in a street racing crash that killed five teenagers was sentenced Tuesday to up to four years in prison for firing off a shotgun in his backyard.
Cory Gloe, of Farmingdale, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to reckless endangerment and a weapon charge for blasting a shotgun four times in his Long Island neighborhood last month.
Nassau County Court Judge Terence Murphy initially gave Gloe the light sentence after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the May 2014 street racing crash, but the judge rescinded that ruling and sent the 20-year-old to state prison.
Gloe initially was deemed a juvenile offender because he was 17 at the time of the crash. In May, Murphy said that justice would be better served by giving him a chance to turn his life around.
But on Tuesday, the judge told Gloe he was about to learn the difference between local jail and state prison.
"I told you the life you lead and the legacy you leave will either respect and memorialize those teenagers or show a cold callous disregard for their lives and memories," Murphy said. "Mr. Gloe, you proved to me who you are."
Gloe was one of two drivers engaging in a drag race in Farmingdale in May 2014. The driver and four passengers in the other car died when that vehicle crashed into an oncoming SUV. The SUV driver and his passenger were seriously injured. Prosecutors said Gloe goaded the other driver into racing.
On the day Gloe pleaded guilty, he posted messages using an epithet about the police and claiming "I'll be in and out faster than you can spin a doubt." Then he was arrested days later during a traffic stop in which he was a passenger. Charges that he was in possession of a gravity knife were later dropped after prosecutors said the driver claimed possession of the knife.
Relatives of some of the victims who died in the car wreck attended Tuesday's court proceeding.
"I feel like the things we wanted to hear the judge say the first time around, we were able to hear a little bit this time," said Celeste Tziamihas, the sister of 15-year-old Noah Francis. "Our wounds are too deep and they are too open for anything to really satisfy. I pray this was enough for us to be able to close this chapter of our lives."
This story has been corrected to show the judge's first name is Terence, not Terrence.
Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.
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