Friday, October 11, 2013


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Driver who killed two motorcyclists pleads guilty

GOSHEN – An Ossining man pled guilty in Orange County Court on Thursday to the top count of a multi-count indictment in connection with the deaths of two motorcyclists on the Thruway in the Town of Woodbury. He was driving with 0.15 percent blood alcohol content.

Luis Munoz, 25, faces up to 18 years in state prison for his plea to aggravated vehicular homicide in the deaths of Melissa Rupa and Rafaelito DeJesus.  The victims were stopped in a safety zone, when they were run over by Munoz.

He could have faced 25 years in prison, the maximum sentence provided by state law.  Under the law, if Munoz had pled guilty to every count in the indictment, the maximum he would still face is the 25 years.

Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips believes that is wrong and should be changed.

“The impetus for the movement back in 1990 is that I prosecuted a quadruple arson-murder in Middletown at the same time the Bronx County DA’s Office was prosecuting the Happyland Social Club fire in which 87 people were killed and both of the defendants – the one who killed four in Orange County and the one who killed 87 in the Bronx received 25 years to life, the maximum term,” Phillips said.

The DA said the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York has lobbied for a change in state law requiring individual sentences for each victim of a crime, but it has consistently failed in the State Assembly.