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Man on parole in fatal drag race gets probation for drunken driving

Kyle Soukup, who was convicted in the 2002

Kyle Soukup, who was convicted in the 2002 drag racing deaths in Muttontown of a soon-to-be-married couple, was arrested in Southampton Village on charges including driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest, officials said. (July 6, 2012) Credit: SCDA

A Manhattan man who was free on parole for killing two people in a drag race was sentenced Wednesday for driving drunk in Southampton and fleeing police.

State Supreme Court Justice William Condon sentenced Kyle Soukup, 27, to time already served in jail and 5 years of probation, the first 28 days of which will be in an inpatient alcohol rehabilitation facility.

The Suffolk district attorney's office recommended the maximum of 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison. Assistant District Attorney Nancy Clifford argued that Soukup, who was driving without a license when he was arrested in July, "simply does what he wants to do. I have no reason to believe he'll succeed in probation. The community needs to be protected from Kyle Soukup."

Condon disagreed, noting that the probation sentence will keep him under state control longer than a prison sentence would.

"If you mess up on probation, there's really no discussion," Condon told Soukup, warning him he'd end up in prison if he violates probation.

Soukup's attorney, Gerard McCloskey of Mineola, said his client has learned from his experiences. "He's had his issues in the past," he said.

Those issues include drag racing a Corvette in 2002 in Muttontown against his friend, Blake Slade, at speeds approaching 140 mph. Their cars hit a Jeep carrying Sophia Bretous, 23, and her fiance, Jean Desir, 31, of Westbury, and killed both.

They pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges and served 2 1/2 years in prison before being released in 2007.

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