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Bayville man gets 17 years in prison for crash that paralyzed friend

Anthony Chiantella outside the Nassau County Courthouse in

Anthony Chiantella outside the Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola on April 7. Credit: James Carbone

A Bayville man convicted of causing a wreck in 2019 that paralyzed his friend, was sentenced to 17 years in prison for the crash on the Wantagh State Parkway.

Anthony Chiantella, 29, also received five-years post release supervision when he faced Judge Terence Murphy in Nassau County Court on Friday.

In April a jury found Chiantella guilty of felony charges of assault, vehicular assault and reckless endangerment, along with other offenses that included drunken driving and driving under the combined influence of alcohol and a drug.

Robert Schalk, the Mineola-based attorney representing Chiantella criticized the police investigation of the crash during the trial and said in his closing argument that prosecutors had not proved Chiantella was driving at the time of the crash that left, Nicholas Mustakas, then 24, a quadriplegic.

"Although we respect the court's sentence, we still disagree with the jury’s verdict in this case and we believe we have a myriad of appellate issues to pursue moving forward," Schalk said Friday.

According to the indictment, on Feb. 2, 2019, at approximately 4:41 p.m. Chiantella was driving Mustakas’ 2007 Honda Accord at more than 130 miles per hour while drunk and under the influence of cocaine.

He lost control while driving north on the Wantagh State Parkway near Exit W6 in Wantagh and crashed. Both he and Mustakas, who was riding in the front passenger seat, were ejected.

During the trial prosecutors played cellphone videos that showed what they allege was Chiantella narrating the drive, bragging about breaking the law and a close-up of the speedometer that were posted to social media before the crash.

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