William Tracey, of Valley Stream, leaves Nassau County Courthouse in...

William Tracey, of Valley Stream, leaves Nassau County Courthouse in Mineola after he was sentenced, Monday, for killing his stepmother, Denise Tracey, in March 2009. (Sept. 27, 2010) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Nassau County Court judge yesterday sentenced a Valley Stream man who was convicted in June of the March 2009 bludgeoning of his stepmother to a maximum 25 years to life in prison.

Judge Meryl Berkowitz was unmoved by William Tracey's lengthy statement in which he said he did not kill Denise Tracey, 42, in March of last year, and she gave him the maximum sentence on a second-degree murder charge as relatives wept in the courtroom.

But Berkowitz also ordered Tracey to serve his 1- to 4-year sentence for tampering with evidence concurrently with the murder sentence.

The sentence followed victim impact statements by Denise Tracey's mother and sister, and also a statement by William Tracey's attorney seeking the minimum sentence.

Attorney Joseph Lo Piccolo of Garden City has called the evidence in the case "circumstantial," and said his client was overcharged and vowed to appeal the conviction.

Assistant District Attorney Zeena Abdi asked for the maximum sentence. Prosecutors have said that around 3 a.m. on March 28, 2009, William Tracey was in his basement room in the Dartmouth Street home he shared with his stepmother, father and two brothers.

He got into an argument with Denise Tracey and struck her over the head repeatedly with a blunt object, killing her, prosecutors said.

He tied up her body with bungee cords, bandannas, towels and garbage bags, and used his car to take the body to a trash bin at a deli nearby on Dubois Avenue, where it was found the next day, the district attorney's office said.

Police arrested William Tracey in April 2009 after reviewing surveillance video that showed his car driving toward the deli and back in the other direction around the time of the slaying.

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