Jury finds driver guilty in deaths of newly engaged couplePosted: Updated:
A man has been found guilty of killing a newly engaged couple in a high-speed crash in Inwood.
Yisroel Levin and Elisheva Kaplan were killed in a fiery car crash in Inwood last year.
A jury found Rahmel Watkins guilty of a number of charges Tuesday, including two counts of criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment and felony assault. The 36-year-old was acquitted on manslaughter charges.
Kaplan's parents say justice was served, but say that doesn't make it any easier.
Prosecutors say Watkins was driving over 100 mph on the Nassau Expressway when he lost control and caused a five-car crash that killed the young couple.
"The jury sent a very strong message -- when you make the choices that you make, there are serious consequences. These families have lost so much," said Madeline Singas, Nassau District Attorney.
Watkins attorney still maintains that it wasn't the speed that caused the crash.
"He was operating his vehicle behind another vehicle that he was following to another location. The way in which that operator operated her vehicle is what caused him to try and pass her. And when he passed her at the speed that he passed her, it appears he either lost control or was unable to manage the road at that point," said Joe Lopiccolo.
Although Watkins was acquitted of manslaughter charges, because of a number of priors that he has, he can still face 12 years to life behind bars when he is sentenced on Nov. 29.
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