Selden man guilty in deaths of teens
A Selden man pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing two teenagers last year when he drove through a red light on Veterans Highway in Ronkonkoma.
In addition to two counts of criminally negligent homicide, David Heise, 29, also pleaded guilty to dealing heroin. Four months after the crash that killed Eugene Franjola, 17, of Oakdale, and Stephen Massina, 16, of Sayville, Heise was arrested while carrying 53 Valium pills, 100 bags of heroin and hypodermic needles.
In return for the pleas, Suffolk County Court Judge James F.X. Doyle agreed to sentence Heise to 1 1/3 to 4 years for all the crimes. Assistant District Attorney Melissa Turk had recommended a 9-year sentence, the maximum, on the drug charges.
"You're a young man," Doyle told Heise. "Hopefully, you'll move on in a productive way."
During questioning by Turk, Heise said that at 11:20 p.m. on April 10, 2010, he drove at 54 mph through a red light at Ocean Avenue, broadsiding a car driven by Franjola. Heise also admitted that his license had been revoked at the time for repeated speeding violations.
Heise and his attorney, Eric Besso of Sayville, declined to comment after the pleas. Heise remains free on bail until Doyle sentences him on Aug. 10.
The victims' parents said they were satisfied with the deal. "It felt good to hear him admit it," said Margaret Massina, Stephen's mother. "This guy's had no regard for anyone."
"I do hope he gets his act together," added his father, also named Stephen.
Barbara Franjola, Eugene's mother, said the plea will allow her to move forward. "It gives me a little peace," she said.
She said she also hopes it allows Heise to live a useful life after he gets out of prison. That's what her son and Stephen Massina would have wanted, she said.