Long Island Mothers Battling To Put Alleged Drunk Driver Away

Suspect Accused Of Killing 2 Best Friends In Suffolk Wreck

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Their sons were killed, allegedly by a speeding, unlicensed driver who was never tested for drugs or alcohol.

On Thursday two grief-stricken Long Island families were fighting for changes in the legal system.

“It rips me to shreds. We can’t sit with our sons in this courtroom because he took them,” Margaret Massina told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.

Stephen Massina and Eugene Franjola were best friends, and now in their grief two moms, supported by their families and communities of Oakdale and Sayville, are fighting for justice.

“I lost my baby. I’ll never be able to see him get married, have children. He never graduated high school. I want to change laws so no mother ever has to feel my pain, ever,” Barbara Franjola said.

The moms battled for upgraded charges against suspect David Heise — from driving without a license to criminally negligent homicide.

When the mothers learned the attorney for the suspect may have been on the verge of striking a deal for just 12 months in jail, the protests got louder, including from the teens’ Connetquot High School.

And in a new use of social media, more than 1,700 signatures were gathered in an on-line petition.

When asked if she felt like the petition helped sway the judge, Dina Phillips, a neighbor of the victims, said, “I hope so. He gets to hear what the community is saying.”

The judge was apparently listening and on Thursday ruled he will accept only the maximum if Heise pleads guilty — one and a third to four years in jail.

But the moms and their supporters said victory is bittersweet. Suspect Heise, who allegedly sped through a red light and fatally hit the boys, was never tested for drugs or alcohol that night, even though he had been arrested before the crash for drug possession. The moms said they want automatic testing.

“If there is a fatality at a scene, blood should be drawn,” Franjola said.

The victims’ mothers will continue their battles in court. They will be in court with the suspect on May 10.

Heise also faces unrelated drug dealing and heroin possession charges.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Comments

One Comment

  1. Vic says:

    Obviously the guy wasn’t under the influence of anything that’s why the police did not feel obligated to arrest him, my condolences to their families but no body ever mentions that these two “boys” who didn’t graduate were under the influence at the scene where they left the memorial of the boys there’s beer cans and all sorts of stuff, meanwhile they were such good kids people make mistakes and I’m sure he’s dealing with his own demons n his poor mother has to deal with everyone else’s ignorance and comments your all adults act like it, he will serve his time – it’s going to take a bigger person to forgive him for a complete and utter accident

  2. Bill Dikant says:

    In the State of N.Y., when a fatality occurs, it is manditory that Law Enforcement take a BLOOD sample with out the need for a signed Warrant from a Judge!.Has to be in a POLICE test kit, Done @ a specified Lab.. To have such”Happiness” and live a “Fullfilling Life” is wishful it will never go away, the pain that is. As I have said for many years” D.W.I. is not nor will ever be an accident”, “D.W.I. is Americas only socially accepted crime of violence”. I share your grief also.
    Capt. Bill’s Daughter, you have stated the same as I have!. “Forgiveness” is to be decided upon by a Supreme being.

    Bill Dikant, D.W.I. Victim Advocate,
    Castleton, N.Y. 12033-1604

  3. Sallyann Capozzola says:

    Margaret- Your words always amaze me. You and Barbara are truly one of the strongest woman I know. Had it had been my son, I don’t know if I would want him to heal. I understand that holding on to hate is not a healthy way to live, but if this man showed any remorse I can understand. David Heise continues make the wrong choices, and I truly hope our justice system gives him the maximum penalty to help him heal and then to realize how he DESTROYED two families and hundreds of kids due to this one accident. I also hope while he is withdrawing in prison he realizes what he has done to God only knows how many other children by dealing his heroin. It is hard enough to raise teenagers without people like D.H. adding more pressure to them with drugs. I will always be here to help the Massina & Franjola family with whatever I can do because you had two amazing boys that could’ve really changed our world if given the chance.

  4. Jamie Green says:

    How is it that the police officers on the scene and the hospital who may have treated Heise did not perform an alcohol/drug test on someone responsible for causing a fatal crash? If they would have just done their job the defendant could possibly be facing a top felony charge which would carry a longer prison term. This has nothing to do with forgiveness. Suffolk’s finest owe these families an explanation and apology for not doing everything in their power to make sure they dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s. The families could be experiencing some sort of relief that justice is being served if the defendant was charged with more than “driving with a suspended license” and a “moving violation”. In all probability, speeding and running a red light while knowingly driving without a licesnse has DWI written all over it! Just stay with it, get the longest sentence possible, and follow up after to make sure he is on probabtion for 5 years and constantly being drug tested. My heartfelt sympathys go out to both familites during this trying time.

  5. DONNA S says:

    I CANNOT BELIEVE OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM AND I PROBABLY NEVER WILL. A MAN DRIVES WITHOUT A LICENSE, WHICH I BELIEVE IS ILLEGAL (CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG) PROCEEDS TO RUN A RED LIGHT AND KILL TWO BOYS. THIS IF HE PLEADS GUILTY WILL GIVE HIM ONE AND A THIRD TO FOUR YEARS. I AM EMBARRASSED TO SAY IN THIS CASE THAT I LIVE IN AMERICA. THIS MAN SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE. IF YOU ASK ME AN EYE FOR AN EYE. I BELIEVE IN KARMA. HE WILL GET WHAT IS COMING TO HIM ONE DAY. MY PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS ARE WITH BOTH FAMILIES. NO ONE SHOULD EVER HAVE TO LOSE A CHILD LET ALONE BY SOMEONE WHO SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN DRIVING IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Morg says:

    James
    Forgiveness must be sought out, if you forgive a man that doesn’t acknowledge their sins its just a foolish gesture

  7. Rod in says:

    Another “guy” with pooosie hair around its frontal orifice. Any guy who spends that much time grooming herself is pathetic.

  8. Dallas Carey says:

    These two boys were the most kindest, loving boys ever. Stephen was like my little brother, he made me who I am today. He always put himself before others and this shouldn’t have happened. The court should recognize, one more needle in David’s arm could be another person’s life. He was caught with drugs numerous times and its not fair that these families are not at peace, no one will be until hes in jail. He took innocent lives, because he felt the need to get high on a NARCOTIC. He has a bad record, got caught with herione and parafolanlia! PLEASE put him away! I’ve been a family friend to the Massina’s for a very long time and seeing them go through this tragedy is heart breaking. Two innocent souls lost because of a druggie.

  9. Margaret Massina says:

    Well said. ( all of you) We do need to change laws . We also need to focus on geting the drugs off the street in the first place. And we will. The Unrelenting support we have recieved from Family, friends and the amazing friends members of our community have changed a lot though. And to James, I agree with you. Hate only breeds Hate. I only want D.H. off the streets long enough to kick his drug habit and maybe learn some respect for the law. This guy has been breaking the law since my son was 5 years old. His problem was that he
    is never held accountable for his actions, He is a repeat offender and when you are able to get away with crimes for that long, it only gets worse. With any sentence he recieves now, the ADA did assure me today that when his jail time is up, he Will do at least 2 years probation,, which includes drug testing monthly and all kinds of rehab programs. That is perfect. That will Heal.
    Thank you for your interest and comments.

  10. capt bill's daughter says:

    sorry for your loss linda. toxicology screens should be mandatory not only in the case of a fatality, but any injury. i know the aclu will scream about that, but then they don’t go to funerals of victims. plea bargaining shouldn’t be an option. the “unrelated” drug trafficking (yes i know my choice of words differs from the story) and heroin possession should bring 5 years. drug dealers should be given an od of the poison they sell. i work in health care, and have seen first hand the aftermath of what criminals such as heise create. justice for the victims!

  11. Linda Marie Ferrante says:

    We will find Justice…This was No Accident..D.H. Made a CHOICE TO DRIVE ILLEGALLY THAT NIGHT….That CHOICE took My Nephew Stephen and His Friend Eugene AWAY FROM OUR FAMILIES FOREVER….He Must Pay..Our Boys Already RECEIVED THEIR *LIFE SENTENCE* As did we…. </3

    1. James says:

      Seek forgiveness. As hard is that is you must try. While I tear up telling you this, and it is easier said than done, the boys would not want you to live the remainder of your life and your familes life – in hatred. They want you to be happy and live a fullfilling life, even in the face of such a horrible loss. God bless you and your family. So sorry.

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