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Teen Guilty in High Speed Crash That Killed 4 of His Friends

Queens man faces up to 15 years in prison after driving high and crashing car on Southern State Parkway in 2012.

A Queens man was found guilty in a high speed car crash that killed four of his friends, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's office.

A jury deliberated four days before convicting Joseph Beer, 19, of four counts of second-degree manslaughter, second-degree reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.

The jury was unable to return a verdict on charges of first-degree aggravated vehicular homicide, first-degree vehicular manslaughter, four counts of second-degree vehicular manslaughter, and operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs.

At 3:35 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2012, Beer was reportedly high at the wheel of his 2012 Subaru when he lost control of the car near Exit 17S in Malverne. The car skidded over 200 feet across three lanes, left the road, and slammed into tree. The impact tore the car in half.

Authorities said the car was traveling at speeds over 110 miles per hour at the time of the accident.

Darian Ramnarine, 18, of Inwood, Peter Kanhai, 18, of South Ozone Park, Neal Rajapa, 17, of South Ozone Park, and Christopher Kahn, 18, of Ozone Park, were thrown from the vehicle and were killed.

Beer was rushed to the hospital and tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, authorities said. He later admitted to smoking pot before driving.

At the time, Beer only had a learner's permit and was not allowed to drive between 9 a.m. and 5 a.m.

“Mr. Beer may have been looking to go on a joyride that night, but all he caused was despair for the families of the four teens he killed by choosing to speed down a public parkway after smoking marijuana,” said DA Kathleen Rice. “That night, Mr. Beer could have killed anyone unlucky enough to be in his path. With this verdict, this defendant will be held responsible for his reckless actions and for causing the death of his friends who were taken from their families much too soon.”

Beer could face between five and 15 years in prison. He is due back in court June 24.

TJ Eckleburg June 07, 2014 at 10:49 PM
The kid is arrogant and nasty and the parents are enablers who thinks the sun shines out of his rear. I know this for a fact.
Sam Livingston June 08, 2014 at 10:05 AM
What took the jury 4 days to decide? Did they pick the dumbest or most liberal people who see thru rose colored glasses? Hopefully the judge can/will apply 15 years per death. A druggie without a license speeding, driving recklessly and takes four ives deserves a long prison sentence.
Gerald Cymbalsky June 16, 2014 at 07:57 PM
Parents from Guyana, father works for nyc transit

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