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Westbury man pleads guilty to manslaughter in teen’s death, DA says

A Westbury man pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter in the death of his girlfriend’s daughter in a July 2015 reckless driving incident, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas’ office said.

Herbie McLeod, 29, pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to manslaughter, resisting arrest and assault in the crash that left the unidentified teen, 18, dead and another teen, 16, injured.

McLeod is due back in court Sept. 15 and is expected to be sentenced to 3 1⁄2 to 7 years in prison.

In the July 12, 2015, case the two teenagers were sitting on the trunk of McLeod’s BMW on the side of Brook Street in New Cassel. Although he knew the teens were sitting on the trunk, he drove without stopping at a stop sign and then made a U-turn, picking up speed as he drove back up Brook Street, the district attorney’s office said.

Both teens fell off the trunk and landed on the street, according to the district attorney’s news release. The 16-year-old, who also was not identified, said it felt as if the defendant was driving faster than residential street speed.

After the teens fell off the car, McLeod tried to wake the 18- year-old victim by slapping her face while she was still on the ground. The other teen was bleeding from her face. The McLeod drove both teens to his girlfriend’s home, where he put them in bed, prosecutors said.

After being discovered by McLeod’s girlfriend, the teens were taken to the hospital, where the 18-year-old was found to have skull fractures and brain swelling. She was later pronounced dead.

The 16-year-old victim suffered abrasions that left scars on various parts of her body, and she was on crutches and in a boot for an ankle injury that required physical therapy for four months. The victim also had surgery to sew her nail back onto her finger.

The deceased teen was McLeod’s girlfriend’s daughter.

“This defendant drove in an incredibly dangerous manner that stole the life of an 18-year-old girl and injured a 16-year-old,” Singas said in a statement. “Herbie McLeod showed an unconscionable indifference to human life on that day and we will aggressively prosecute motorists who engage in such reckless behavior.”

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