NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The son of a cop who admitted to killing an aspiring lawyer in a drunk-driving crash won’t spend a day in prison. That’s part of a plea deal agreed to by the victim’s mother — a woman who has spent her life targeting drunk drivers.
It’s the irony of her life — a grieving Faye McCormack spent 18 years as a prosecutor making it her mission to put DUI drivers behind bars. On Thursday she was the reason the young man responsible for her son Malcolm’s death will walk free.
“I worked in an office of prosecutors. Everybody else thinks this is a dumb thing to do,” McCormack told CBS 2’s Emily Smith.
However, outside of the courtroom McCormack said ex-husband, Malcolm’s father, convinced her that a prison sentence wouldn’t do any justice here.
“An eye for an eye is not a good thing. You get to see the third side of the coin,” Fred McCormack said.
When asked if she still feels she did the right thing, Faye McCormack said, “I will see. I am still a prosecutor at heart so I will see what happens. I’m still conflicted about what happened today.”
Michael Ortiz, 22, won’t spend a day in prison for the felony — something unprecedented in this jurisdiction.
In court, Ortiz withdrew his not guilty plea admitting he’s responsible for drinking and driving two and a half years ago, killing 28-year-old Malcolm McCormack. It happened in East New York at 11 p.m. Malcolm McCormack, an aspiring lawyer, had just finished playing the violin and took a walk for some food.
Ortiz, the son of a cop, immediately left court in a hurry Thursday with nothing to say. Ortiz agreed to a conditional plea, which means if he doesn’t meet the conditions he could be put in jail. He will begin a mandatory community service sentence which includes 100 visits to high school students about the perils of drinking and driving.
“It is my wish Mr. Ortiz will represent Malcolm’s memory by showing others it is a very fatal, bad thing to drink and drive, even if you only had two drinks,” Faye McCormack said.
If the case went to trial and Ortiz was convicted he would have spent up to seven years in prison.
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