MINEOLA, N.Y. -- A Long Island man accused inappeared in court Wednesday for arraignment on vehicular homicide charges.
For the first time, the victims' grieving family came face to face with, who was handcuffed to his wheelchair. He claims he's not guilty of the DUI crash that left three children and their beloved patriarch dead last month in Massapequa.
"The defendant, Michael DeAngelo, turned his car into a missile," Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly said. "He was going 120 mph on the Sunrise Highway, a busy Nassau County road, at 7:15 in the evening."
"As I arrived to claim each and every one of my family members' bodies, I had to hold my son with his neck ripped open," Tasheba Huntley-Hamilton said.
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Two children survived.
"My dad was a veteran. He was a great father. He loved his kids," daughter Zaiore Lee said. In 20, 30 years, when I have my first child, and my dad is not there ..."
The judge remanded DeAngelo when it was revealed two 911 calls came from his Lindenhurst home in the days just prior to the deadly crash for drug overdose and domestic violence and that he fled the scene.
His attorney, Karel Seman, said it will be hard to proveand he denies his client's use of excessive speed.
"When his car flipped over, I suspect that his foot was still on the accelerator. And the event recorder was recording the speed the vehicle wasn't going then," Seman said.
The family wants accountability.
"It's not going to change the fate of my children. My house is still empty," Huntley-Hamilton said.
Her loved ones never made it home from a family trip for ice cream to celebrate a job promotion and a birthday.
"This is forever. That's the impact that this has on my life, and that's the impact it should have on his life," Huntley-Hamilton said.
"I am weary and I am angry," Donnelly said.
The DA is demanding state lawmakers amend sentencing guidelines for vehicular homicide, whether linked to one death or 50.
DeAngelo said he is prepared to go to trial. The proceedings could take two years. He faces 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.
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