A Smithtown mortgage broker who admitted he was drunk and high on Xanax when his truck struck and killed a mother of two was sentenced Tuesday to 5 to 15 years in prison.

In an emotion-filled hearing in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead, the family and friends of Karen Naclerio-Negrin cried "Yes!" when John Harnage III, 44, was sentenced by Judge James F.X. Doyle.

Lorraine Schwartz, Naclerio-Negrin's sister, said her late sister, 43, of Smithtown, "had a little justice today."

"It sends the right message that if you drink and drive, you're not going to get a short sentence," Schwartz of St. James said. "He needed to be stopped."

The relatives held an oversized photo of Naclerio-Negrin and her daughters, Julia and Sarah, now 9 and 6, respectively, as they spoke to reporters outside court. Family members, who had feared Doyle would sentence Harnage to 4 to 12 years, said they were satisfied with the prison time.


Naclerio-Negrin's mother, Anna Naclerio, of Smithtown, said she still wakes up at 3 a.m., when her daughter used to go to her job as an American Airlines ticket agent at LaGuardia Airport.

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"The kids, they cry," she said of her granddaughters. "They say, 'I want Mommy.' I say, 'I want Mommy, too.' "

Robert Negrin, Naclerio-Negrin's husband, declined to comment outside court.

Harnage, who in April pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular manslaughter and other charges, was taken into custody after removing his belt and tie following his sentencing.

Before he was sentenced, he choked up as he apologized to Naclerio-Negrin's family, saying her death was "a wake-up call for me."

In earlier cases, Harnage had twice pleaded guilty to driving while impaired, stemming from arrests for driving while intoxicated in 1988 and 1999.

"Had I addressed my drinking problem after my second [DWI], this never would have happened," he said Tuesday.

Schwartz said of his apology, "It was good to hear from him, that he does have some remorse."

"He should have been off the streets," said Linda Lupo, of Commack, Schwartz's twin sister.

If Harnage had been convicted at trial, he would have faced a maximum sentence of 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.

Harnage's attorney, Ray Perini of Hauppauge, described him in court as "a decent, caring, loving person."

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Harnage admitted smashing his Chevy Silverado pickup into Naclerio-Negrin's 1992 Volvo about 3:30 a.m. on April 2, 2009, while he drove north on Route 25A in Smithtown. Naclerio-Negrin, who was driving to work, died at the scene.

When he pleaded guilty, Harnage admitted having "five or six" vodka drinks during a night of barhopping after having taken Xanax prescription pills earlier that day.