RIVERHEAD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A driver who hit and killed two Connetquot High School students has been sentenced for causing the fatal wreck.
Wednesday’s sentencing took a dramatic turn when the plea deal was thrown out and David Heise, 29, was handed a prison term that could keep him locked up for nine years for his role in the deaths of 17-year-old Eugene Franjola and 16-year-old Stephen Massina.
“I just hope that he knows what he did. He took my son from me. We were handed a life sentence,” mother Barbara Franjola told CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan.
WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall: You Could Hear The Victims’ Parents Crying In Court
Prosecutors said Heise drove his pickup through a red light in April of last year, killing the two teens in their car.
Heise pleaded guilty to two counts of criminally negligent homicide for causing the crash.
He originally agreed to a plea deal of no more than four years behind bars, but that was revoked. Four months after causing the deadly crash, Heise was found with 100 bags of heroin and hypodermic needles stuffed in his underwear. He agreed to plead guilty. But awaiting sentencing, and out on bail, Heise was again arrested on heroin charges. When taken into jail, officers discovered balloons filled with narcotics in his rectum, reports McLogan.
“My son is a heroin addict,” Virginia Heise said.
1010 WINS’ Mona Rivera reports: Heise’s Mother Says He Needs Help, Not Jail
David Heise’s mother said her son was not high at the time of the crash, but she evoked outrage showing a toxicology report intimating the teens’ blood may have had trace amounts of pot, placing some of the blame on the victims.
“My son shouldn’t have been out on a suspended license and the Franjola boy shouldn’t have been driving as well,” Virginia Heise said.
That brought a swift reaction from the victims’ camps.
“That’s a disgrace! As a mother, how dare you … to say that about children who are dead. How dare you! They aren’t here to defend themselves! That was never brought up in this case! I don’t know where she’s coming from,” one person screamed.
The victims’ parents wondered why Heise wasnt given a drug test the night of the accident.
“It’s an unending torture. It’s not enough that he took our sons, he has to break the law over and over again,” mother Margaret Massina told CBS 2’s McLogan.
“The community was outraged. All his friends from school were outraged,” Eugene Franjola Sr. said.
“Whatever his sentence is, ours is forever,” Massina added. “He’s going to be rehabilitated, he’s going to get out. He’s going to have a life. Our life is ruined.”
Both boys donated their organs so others could live. Next month the Massinas will meet the emotional recipient of their son’s heart.
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