Murder convictions of Martin Heidgen, Franklin McPherson upheld in court

Lawyers for both men had argued that their clients were too intoxicated to know the threat they posed.

VALLEY STREAM - Officials say two Long Islanders have lost their appeals of their murder convictions in connection to separate fatal drunken driving crashes.

New York's highest court upheld the murder convictions of Valley Stream's Martin Heidgen and Deer Park's Franklin McPherson in a 5-2 decision.

Heidgen was driving drunk the wrong-way on the Meadowbrook Parkway in 2005 when he crashed into a limo killing the driver and 7-year-old passenger.

McPherson drove drunk the wrong-way on the Southern State in 2007, crashing into an SUV killing a father of six.

Lawyers for both men had argued that their clients were too intoxicated to know the threat they posed.

Marge Lee, President of DEDICATEDD, a nonprofit that advocates for the victims of drunk drivers, says that the appeal was grueling for the victim's families. She says reliving the experience put them through an emotional roller coaster.

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said, "we have a long way to go but this is a monumental victory in our fight for safer roads," in response to the decision.

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