Cory Gloe is heading to prison for his role in a street race that left five teenagers dead after a probation violation put him back before the judge whose original sentence had sparked outrage among some of the victims’ relatives.
Now the 20-year-old man will serve 1 1⁄3 years to 4 years in prison for his manslaughter convictions in the 2014 deaths of a group of young friends who have become known as the “Farmingdale Five.”
In meting out a new punishment Tuesday, Acting State Supreme Court Justice Terence Murphy said the Farmingdale resident had thrown away a chance to prove himself worthy of an initial sentence focused on rehabilitation instead of incarceration.
In May, Murphy gave Gloe a sentence of six months in jail and five years of probation in connection with the May 10, 2014, Farmingdale wreck that killed Tristan Reichle, 17; Jesse Romero, 18; Carly Lonnborg, 14; Noah Francis, 15; and Cody Talanian, 17.
Gloe admitted Tuesday to violating that probation after police arrested him Oct. 12 and accused him of firing a shotgun outside his home and, at one point, near a 3-year-old neighbor.
“I asked you to live a life of service in memory of Carly, Cody, Jesse, Noah and Tristan. Make them proud of you. Allow them to forgive you by knowing that you have lived every day proving yourself worthy of their friendship so that their lives would not be lost in vain. Mr. Gloe, you proved to me who you are,” the judge said Tuesday.
Murphy added that Gloe would “soon find out” that there is “a stark difference between jail and prison.”
The judge also reminded Gloe that he had allowed him to decide his own fate by choosing to “either respect and memorialize those teenagers or show a cold, callous disregard for their lives and memories.”
Murphy previously granted Gloe youthful offender status in the case, which sealed his criminal convictions after a plea to a 17-count indictment that also included five counts of criminally negligent homicide.
It was a decision Murphy stuck to even after police arrested Gloe in March on a felony weapon charge before his original sentencing but after Gloe’s guilty plea earlier that month.
The judge dismissed the charge after prosecutors later said there was a lack of proof.
The emergence of social media posts by Gloe that mocked police and the justice system also didn’t sway Murphy from granting Gloe an opportunity, as the judge put it during the May sentencing, to get “scared straight,” instead of becoming “another institutionalized convict.”
Prosecutors have said Gloe, then 17, goaded Reichle into a street race before Reichle lost control of his car and crashed into a sport utility vehicle in oncoming traffic, seriously injuring its two occupants, and killing everyone in Reichle’s car.
But Gloe’s car never made contact with Reichle’s car, and evidence showed Reichle had a blood alcohol content of 0.07 percent — which, for someone his age, would have meant he was legally impaired behind the wheel.
Prosecutors said in court papers Reichle also would have had to “bear criminal liability” if he had survived the crash.
In his most recent case, Gloe pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and prohibited use of a weapon.
Murphy sentenced Gloe to a year behind bars for that conviction, a penalty that he’ll serve at the same time as his punishment of up to four years in the deadly vehicular case.
“He’s getting what he deserves . . . It’ll never be closure but it’s the best we can do for right now,” said Sandy Lonnborg, Carly Lonnborg’s mother.
“Things that we wanted to hear the judge say the first time around, we were able to hear a little bit of this time,” said Noah Francis’ sister and guardian, Celeste Tziamihas.
But Tziamihas added that the wounds “are too deep” and “too open” for any punishment “to ever really satisfy” the grieving relatives of the victims, all of whom had been students at Farmingdale High School at the time they died or in the past.