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April 17, 2013

Hempstead Man Sentenced to 25 Years to Life in Prison for Depraved Indifference Murder in DWI Crash

Williams was fleeing police with BAC of .27 when he crashed into and killed 24-year-old Chat Whethers; Conviction marks Rice’s third DWI-related murder conviction


MINEOLA, N.Y. - Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that Lloyd Williams has been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for killing a Roosevelt man in a drunk driving crash while fleeing the scene of a Freeport shooting.

Williams, 29, of Hempstead, was convicted last September of Murder in the Second Degree, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, four counts of Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter, three counts of Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Assault, three counts of Vehicular Assault in the First Degree, four counts of Driving While Intoxicated, and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Vehicle. He was sentenced by Judge Tammy Robbins.

Rice 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’s friend attempted to get into the officer’s vehicle, thinking that it belonged to Williams, before getting into the correct car. The two men 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 .27 percent and he had marijuana in his system. He suffered a broken right ankle and his passenger, who was not charged, suffered a broken neck. Williams’ conviction is Rice’s third DWI-related depraved indifference murder conviction since taking office.

“Lloyd Williams knew the risks he was taking when he chose to run from the police while drunk and high, yet he didn’t care about what that decision would mean for an innocent man like Chad Whethers,” Rice said. “For the third time since taking office, the jury agreed that the defendant’s conduct was so reckless that it merited a murder conviction, and I hope that today’s sentence provides some solace to the victim’s family.”

Assistant District Attorney Brendan Ahern and Assistant District Attorney Everett Witherell are prosecuting the case for the District Attorney's Office. Williams is represented by Greg Grizopolous, Esq.