Nylah Frazier pleaded guilty Thursday in a courtroom where the victims' families lashed out, saying Frazier and her family have shown no remorse. NewsdayTV's Shari Einhorn reports.  Credit: Newsday Staff

Raw emotions filled a Nassau County courtroom Thursday as the families of two dead teens watched a West Hempstead woman plead guilty to manslaughter and assault for causing the 2021 high-speed crash that killed their loved ones.

Family members of Nylah Frazier, 20, traded verbal barbs with the parents of Amanda Arguinzoni, 17, and Kurtis Caesar, 19, during the hearing over what they perceived as a lack of remorse over the fatal crash.

In a faint voice, Frazier admitted driving over 100 mph on Oct. 21, 2021, in her BMW X3 on Westminster Road, running a red light and smashing into a parked dump truck, causing the car to flip over and jettison the passengers, according to Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly.

The parents of the dead teens contend Frazier was speeding and driving recklessly at 1 a.m. because she was angry that her friends had not told her about her boyfriend’s infidelity.

WHAT TO KNOW

  • A West Hempstead woman pleaded guilty Thursday to manslaughter and assault charges in a 2021 high-speed crash that killed two teenage friends.
  • Justice Caryn Fink said she would likely sentence Nylah Frazier to 3 to 9 years for the two manslaughter charges and an additional 3 years for the assaults.
  • Amanda Arguinzoni, 17, and Kurtis Caesar, 19, were killed when Frazier was driving over 100 mph on Oct. 21, 2021 in her BMW X3 and crashed into a parked dump truck.

“I don’t know if she was trying to scare them or what,” Amanda’s father, Pedro Arguinzoni, 49, said.

Frazier’s lawyer, Marc Gann, admitted that his client was upset that night, but said there was no maliciousness behind her speeding car.

“Nylah certainly understood the relationship that she had with her boyfriend and what happened that evening. I think her friends were trying to console her,” he said. “I think that this accident was more the result of an inexperienced driver who may have hit the gas rather than the brake and panicked at that point.”

Amanda’s father and Nadia Wynter-Baylis, Caesar’s mother, said they felt bitter at Frazier and her parents for never apologizing or extending condolences.

“They haven’t reached out to me — no flowers, no note,” Arguinzoni said, tears welling up in his eyes.

From left: crash victims Amanda Arguinzoni, 17, and Kurtis Caesar,...

From left: crash victims Amanda Arguinzoni, 17, and Kurtis Caesar, 19. Credit: Family photos

After Frazier entered her plea, Gann turned to the gallery filled with sobbing family and said he recommended she not apologize before the pleading.

“Don’t do that,” Wynter-Baylis shouted. “Don’t you do that.”

Frazier’s family shouted back before being led out of the courtroom.

“This is a horrendous situation. It's tragic all the way around,” Gann said. “Young people speed. That's what was really involved in this case. And unfortunately, two lives were lost. I know Nylah has wanted to express remorse for the role that she played in the death of her friends, one of whom was her best friend. And I've prevented that from happening.”

He said his client had visited the graves.

“She doesn’t even know where they are,” a family member responded.

Frazier will be allowed to remain free pending her sentencing on May 22.

Justice Caryn Fink said she would likely sentence Frazier to 3 to 9 years for the two manslaughter charges and an additional 3 years for the assaults. Those terms would run concurrently, the judge said. Charges for reckless driving and reckless endangerment were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

Prosecutors asked for 7 to 12 years in prison.

Though Frazier was eligible to receive youthful offender status, which would allow her to expunge her record after serving her sentence, Fink said she would not be extending that option.

“Two young people — 17 and 19 years old — were killed when this defendant blew through a red light at more than 100 miles an hour and crashed her BMW SUV into a parked dump truck,” Donnelly said. “Amanda Arguinzoni and Kurtis Caesar had their entire lives in front of them and lost those lives in an instant due to the selfish and reckless actions of Nylah Frazier. It is a miracle that no one else lost their lives that evening.”

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