Defendant Was Allegedly Driving Stolen Vehicle at a Speed of 154 MPH at Time of Crash.
Central Islip, NY - April 27, 2018 - Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini today announced the unsealing of a 42-count indictment against Jamel Turner, 24, of Bellport, in connection with a motor vehicle crash on February 14 in Ridge that caused five fatalities, significant injury to a sixth victim and the death of the defendant’s dog.
“This was a horrific event and it is my office’s intent to ensure that Mr. Turner never, ever gets out of prison,” District Attorney Sini said. “This indictment is supported by tremendous evidence and we intend to prosecute Mr. Turner to the fullest extent of the law.”
Turner was indicted on 37 felonies, including five counts of Murder in the Second Degree; seven counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide; five counts of Assault in the First Degree; five counts of Manslaughter in the Second Degree; Aggravated Vehicular Assault; Assault in the Second Degree; five counts of Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree; Unlawful Fleeing of a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree; Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree; Grand Larceny in the Third Degree; Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree; Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Third Degree; Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree; and two counts of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree.
He is also charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree; Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired by Drugs; Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree; Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree; and Reckless Driving, which are all misdemeanor offenses.
On February 14 at approximately 11:20 a.m., Turner was driving a 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which was reported stolen, eastbound on Route 25 when he crashed into an eastbound 2012 Mazda.
“He was traveling, immediately prior to impact, at 154 mph,” District Attorney Sini said. “That is faster than commercial jets go to take off.”
The Camaro then struck an oil truck traveling westbound and the Mazda struck a 1999 Infiniti traveling eastbound.
“The passengers in the Mazda suffered blunt force trauma that’s beyond imagination, however those individuals did not die from the impact,” District Attorney Sini said. “Instead the crash was so intense that the car literally exploded and those four individuals burned to death.”
The four passengers in the Mazda, who were identified as Jacquelyn McCoy, 55, of Calverton; her daughter, Mary Alice Booker, 36, of Riverhead; McCoy’s son, Anthony McCoy, 33, and his girlfriend, Tameka Foster, 42, were pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.
Lonidell Skinner, 19, of Bellport, who was a passenger in the Camaro, was ejected from the vehicle on impact and was pronounced dead at the scene. Turner’s dog, Prince, was also ejected from the Camaro and died.
“Essentially what we have here was a Valentine’s Day massacre caused by this defendant,” District Attorney Sini said.
Turner is alleged to have been operating the vehicle while impaired by marijuana and was in possession of crack cocaine at the time of the incident.
Turner was arraigned on the indictment today in front of State Supreme Court Justice Fernando Camacho in Central Islip. He was remanded without bail to the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead. He is due back in court on May 25.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Brendan Ahern, Bureau Chief of the Vehicular Crime Bureau, and Carl Borelli, Acting Deputy Bureau Chief of the Vehicular Crime Bureau.
Turner was also arraigned on a second indictment today in connection with the alleged sale of cocaine on three occasions in August and September 2017. He is charged with three counts of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree and three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, all of which are felony charges.
Bail on the second indictment was set at $500,000 cash or $1 million bond by Judge Camacho at the arraignment. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jacob Kubetz, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau.