The drunk driver in the devastating accident on the Meadowbrook Parkway back in 2005 that killed a 7-year old flower girl as well as a limo driver lost his appeal in a state appellate courtroom this weekend in a 3-1 decision to uphold his conviction of depraved-indifference murder.
The girl, Katie Flynn, and her family were returning home to Lido Beach from a family wedding in Bayville when Martin Heidgen, then 24, who had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, sped the wrong way down the parkway and crashed into the limousine, prosecutors said. Katie and the limo driver, Stanley Rabinowitz, 59, of Farmingdale, were killed.
"The evidence presented to the jury established that the defendant engaged in reckless conduct, which created a 'grave' risk of death, thereby evincing a depraved indifference to human life," the majority decision said.
Neil Flynn, Katie's father, said: "Justice has been served. The jury rendered a proper decision. They applied the law to the facts of the case . . . My family is relieved to see that justice has been done at the appellate level."
Heidgen, of Valley Stream, is serving 18 years to life in an upstate prison. His lawyer, Jillian Harrington, of Manhattan, said she would ask the state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, to review the case.
Harrington said in her appeal that Heidgen deserved at the most a manslaughter conviction, a lesser offense, because he was too drunk to act with depraved indifference. "We will continue our fight to prove that Martin Heidgen was convicted of the wrong crime and that the court's obvious errors denied him a fair trial," Harrington said.