Man gets 4-12 years in fatal car crash

As part of a plea deal, James Murphy admitted in February to getting high before crashing his car into a vehicle driven by 63-year-old Herta

James Murphy admitted that he inhaled a computer cleaner to get high in December 2013 before the crash that killed Herta Palma.

James Murphy admitted that he inhaled a computer cleaner to get high in December 2013 before the crash that killed Herta Palma. (4/17/15)

RIVERHEAD - A young driver who killed a Commack grandmother after he admittedly inhaled computer cleaner was sentenced Friday to serve four to 12 years in prison.

As part of a plea deal, James Murphy admitted in February to getting high before crashing his car into a vehicle driven by 63-year-old Herta Palma, of Commack, on New Year's Eve 2013. Palma was killed.

Murphy also admitted to sideswiping another vehicle and not stopping just before the fatal daytime crash.

Murphy pleaded guilty to manslaughter, reckless endangerment, reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crime.

"I'm happy we can finally put closure to this," said Joseph Palma, the victim's son. "I feel he's getting off very lucky," said Palma, referring to Murphy's sentence.

The computer cleaner that Murphy inhaled wasn't listed as a controlled substance. If it had been, he would have faced more serious charges.

Palma plans to work with authorities to introduce legislation that would require stiffer penalties for inhaling chemicals like computer cleaner and operating a vehicle.

Murphy's attorney has said that his client is very remorseful and that Murphy had been heading home from college classes on the afternoon of the crash.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Vote set for tonight on whether or not 1 Vote tonight on plan to allow alcohol sales on Long Beach boardwalk
According to police, two BMWs collided along Salisbury 2 Police: 1 person dead, 1 injured in Westbury crash
Officer Michael McNulty is in need of several 3 Community rallies around Port Washington officer hurt in line of duty
The district says the money would go toward 4 Residents in Northport-East Northport SD to vote on bond
News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen visited Leonardo's Pizza in 5 Tasty Tuesday: DIY pizza

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

James Murphy admitted that he inhaled a computer Man pleads guilty to driving high in fatal crash

A Huntington man who was driving high when he hit and killed a 63-year-old woman

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE