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Posted on: June 1, 2017

Appellate Division Affirms Conviction of Hempstead Man for Depraved Indifference Murder in DWI Crash

Defendant was fleeing police when he killed 24-year old man

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, has affirmed the 2013 conviction of Lloyd Williams, 33, who killed a Roosevelt man in a drunk driving crash while fleeing the scene of a Freeport shooting.

The court affirmed Williams’ conviction of Murder in the 2nd Degree, four counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and other charges. Significantly, the court found, “The direct and circumstantial evidence proved that the defendant deliberately drove his vehicle into this intersection with an utter disregard for the value of human life, and thus was legally sufficient to support the determination that the defendant acted with depraved indifference,” citing to higher court decisions including Nassau’s People v. Heidgen and People v. McPherson. The court dismissed several lesser crimes as inclusory concurrent counts.

“This office will continue to prosecute drivers for murder when they indiscriminately take innocent lives and the facts demonstrate that they were depraved,” DA Singas said. “I am grateful that the Appellate Division agreed that fleeing the police at speeds more than twice the speed limit and driving with a BAC of at least .25, while high on marijuana, through eight stop signs and six red lights constitutes depraved indifference murder. The conviction and this decision give justice to the family of 24- year old Chad Whethers, but it will never remove the pain of his loss.”

DA Singas said that just before 3 a.m. on June 18, 2011, Williams and a friend got into a fight with bouncers at Phase Bar in Freeport after Williams had been ejected. During the fight, a shot was fired and a nearby Freeport Police Department officer responded to scene. Williams and his friend fled the scene in Williams’ Mitsubishi. With officers in pursuit, Williams sped through eight stop signs and six red lights at a high rate of speed as he drove east on Pine Street.

The final red light Williams went through was at the intersection of Guy Lombardo Avenue, which 24-year-old Chad Whethers was crossing northbound. Williams slammed into the middle of the driver’s side of Whethers’ Dodge Intrepid with enough speed that the impact killed Whethers instantly and severed his vehicle in half.

Williams’ blood-alcohol content was found to be more than three times the legal limit and he had marijuana in his system. He suffered a broken right ankle and his passenger, who was not charged, suffered a broken neck.

Lloyd was convicted in September 2012 and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison by Judge Tammy Robbins in April 2013.

Assistant District Attorneys Jason Richards and Judith Sternberg of DA Singas’ Appeals Bureau argued the case. Williams is represented by Leon H. Tracy, Esq.

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