The father and twin sister of a convicted murderer pleaded guilty Wednesday to covering up his crime.
Keith Liming, 56, and Elaine Liming, 23, both were sentenced to probation. They admitted deliberately misleading a grand jury investigating the Nov. 16, 2011, death of Kyle Underhill, 18, a high school friend of Thomas Liming, now 23.
Thomas Liming was convicted last year of second-degree murder for beating, strangling and burying Underhill alive in the swampy woods off Brook Street in Islip. A month ago, state Supreme Court Justice Mark Cohen sentenced him to 25 years to life in prison, saying he had “never seen such a ferocious act of violence inflicted on another person.”
Underhill’s parents watched with satisfaction as Liming’s father and sister entered their pleas.
Keith Liming went first, pleading guilty to third-degree perjury. Cohen sentenced him to 3 years probation and 280 hours of community service.
During questioning by Assistant District Attorney Raphael Pearl, Liming said he told the grand jury he didn’t know the location of the clothes his son was wearing when he killed Underhill. That was a lie, he said.
During the trial, it came out that he gave his son’s clothes to a private investigator. Police later found the clothes in the garage next to the investigator’s home.
Cohen said he agreed to the sentence because of Keith Liming’s 37 years of service in the Air Force. “The ends of justice are satisfied by this disposition and sentence,” Cohen said.
Keith Liming and his wife, Kim Liming, held hands while their daughter pleaded guilty to attempted criminal contempt. Cohen put her on interim probation for a year, during which she will do 280 hours of community service. If she is successful on probation, she’ll be allowed to withdraw her plea and admit instead to disorderly conduct, a noncriminal violation.
Elaine Liming admitted during questioning by Pearl that she avoided answering grand jury questions by saying “I don’t know” repeatedly.
Both Keith and Elaine Liming had criminal immunity for their grand jury testimony, so neither could have been prosecuted if they had testified truthfully.
Father and daughter kissed briefly in the courtroom before walking out and reporting to the Probation Department.