A man convicted of murder after driving drunk and killing a Lido Beach girl is making a second attempt to have his conviction overturned.
Martin Heidgen, who is one of the only people nationwide to be convicted of depraved indifference to murder after a drunk driving crash, will plead his case to the Court of Appeal, New York State’s highest court, at 2 p.m. Tuesday. He is prepared to challenge whether a person can be so drunk that they are unable to form a state of mind to act depraved. Prosecutors in the case argue that someone who is drunk can act depraved and that Heidgen knew what he was doing the night of the crash, according to News 12.
The arguments in the case will be livestreamed today at 2 p.m. at http://www.nycourts.gov/ctapps/, according to the Nassau County District Attorneys Office.
In October 2006, after a five-week trial, Heidgen was convicted of second-degree murder after he drove drunk in a pickup truck traveling in the wrong direction on the Meadowbrook Parkway on July 2, 2005. His vehicle slammed into a limousine that was carrying 7-year-old Katie Flynn, her family and driver Stanley Rabinowitz, 59, of Farmingdale, who were heading home from a wedding in which Katie was the flower girl. Katie and Rabinowitz were killed in the crash.
Police said Heidgen's blood-alcohol content registered .28 percent, well above the legal limit of .08 percent. He is serving a prison sentence of 18 years to life for the crime.
In September 2011, the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division ruled to uphold Heidgen’s conviction after his defense attorney tried to argue that his client should have been tried on on the lesser charge of manslaughter, not murder, and that police mishandled blood evidence that measured his level of intoxication.
In January 2012, an attorney for the Flynn family reached a $1.3 million settlement in a lawsuit against Heidgen and the Mineola-based limousine company, U.S. Limousine Service, in which the girl and her family were riding in. Katie’s parents, Neil and Jennifer Flynn, and her grandparents, Christopher and Denise Tangney of Long Beach — who were all in the limousine at the time of the crash — sued Heidgen and the Mineola-based limousine company for damages.
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