Teenager pleads guilty to Middle Island crash that killed 3 people
A teenager Thursday admitted to causing a triple fatal crash in Middle Island that killed a couple and his older brother.
The high-speed crash in February 2019 left an SUV sliced in half and the other vehicle crumpled. Middle Island couple Jerome and Randee Weingarten were killed.
The Weingartens' family came to Central Islip court Thursday to watch as the teenage driver who caused the crash pleaded guilty to assault and manslaughter.
Nahriek Belford was 17 at the time. Prosecutors say he was driving a stolen car, speeding and fleeing police when he slammed into the Weingartens' SUV as they were making a left turn into their housing complex on Middle Island Road.
Belford's 19-year-old brother, who was a passenger in the stolen car, also died.
"It was clear that the defendant was intent on fleeing any lights and sirens," said Brendan Ahearn, Suffolk assistant district attorney. "The defendant sped at high speeds, blowing multiple red lights. He's an identified Blood gang member. He's affiliated with the set NBK or Natural Born Killers."
Belford's attorney and parents had nothing to say Thursday.
In exchange for a guilty plea, Belford is expected to be sentenced to eight years behind bars, with five years of post-release supervision.
Two years ago, News 12's Eileen Lehpamer spoke with a friend of the Weingartens for 45 years. The friend had dinner with them the night they were killed.
"They were wonderful people, very warm and loving and energetic and fun," said Jules Lewis. "Sitting around, talking. Everybody said, 'Goodnight, we'll talk to you tomorrow,' and for them, there was no tomorrow."
Belford will be sentenced on March 25.