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Relatives of fatal-crash victims object to sentence length for ex-Suffolk college dean Robert Beodeker

Edward Ross, left, son of Edward Ross, reacts

Edward Ross, left, son of Edward Ross, reacts after the sentencing of Robert Beodeker for the death of his father at the Nassau County Courthouse on Monday, June 15, 2015 in Mineola. He is accompanied by a friend, Stephen Alexander. Credit: Howard Schnapp

An ex-Suffolk college dean is heading to prison after using meth before a deadly crash, but the families of the two victims wanted a harsher punishment than the 4 to 12 years behind bars he got Monday.

"Where is the justice in that?" said Kerri Reilly, 40, victim Edward Ross' daughter, as raw emotions leaked out during Robert Beodeker's sentencing in Nassau County Court.

Beodeker, 52, of Aquebogue, pleaded guilty in April to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving while impaired by drugs. He admitted using methamphetamine before the crash on March 4, 2013, that killed Ross, 65, of North Bellmore, and John Elder, 76, of Freeport. The two friends, both military veterans, were standing with a broken-down car on a Meadowbrook State Parkway shoulder in Roosevelt when Beodeker slammed into it.

Beodeker, then a Suffolk County Community College associate dean, told police he didn't see the victims until it was too late.

"Murderer!" shouted Ross family friend Stephen Alexander, 42, when Beodeker entered court Monday.

Ross' son, who shares his father's name, called his father a "true patriot" who served in Vietnam. The elder Ross had worked 30 years for the state Parks Department, his family said.

"It's just a complete injustice that this person could be back on the street in no time and kill someone else," the younger Edward Ross, 39, said after court.

Elder's daughter, Debbie Fratello, 55, told the judge that Beodeker should "be put away for a very long time." She said her father served in Korea and as a Freeport firefighter. He was a talented carpenter who also had worked as an LIU Post maintenance engineer, she said.

"I fully accept responsibility," Beodeker said in court. His attorney Dana Grossblatt added later that he has been "nothing but remorseful."

Nassau Supervising Judge Christopher Quinn told the victims' families he was bound by a sentencing commitment previously made by another judge. That judge now works in another court and couldn't be reached there Monday.

A Nassau district attorney's office spokesman said a complication arose in prosecuting the case when the FBI arrested the case's lead investigator -- a State Police official -- on child porn charges. Records show that official has since pleaded guilty.

Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement that she hoped Beodeker's sentence "brings some solace to the loved ones of these blameless men."

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