Closing arguments in trial for Joseph Beer, accused of killing 4 friends while driving high

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MINEOLA, N.Y. (PIX11/AP) — After a lengthy trial, closing arguments are set for Monday in Mineola for a Queens man accused of driving high and speeding when he crashed his car in 2012, killing four friends.

Joseph Beer

Joseph Beer during his court appearance January 24th.

A prosecutor told a jury at the closing arguments of a trial of a New York City teen that he “tempted fate” by getting high on marijuana and driving more than 100 mph before crashing on a Long Island road in October 2012.


The crash on the Southern State Parkway killed all four of Beer’s childhood friends.

The crash killed four teenagers. Nineteen-year-old driver Joseph Beer is on trial for charges including aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter, reckless endangerment, and driving while intoxicated by drugs.

RELATED: Teen sent back to jail in Long Island crash that killed 4 friends

In closing arguments Monday for the defense, Beer’s attorney said the prosecution didn’t prove that Beer was impaired by the marijuana. He also said that the area of the Southern State Parkway where the crash took place is dangerous and doesn’t have warning signs in the area.

The jury is expected to start deliberations on Tuesday.


A body is wheeled away from the scene of the crash in October, 2012.

Prosecutors alleged last week that Beer, 19, had smoked $20 worth of marijuana before speeding at over 100 mph, and was impaired when he crashed.

A Yale School of Medicine psychiatry professor testified that authorities’ drug tests on Joseph Beer weren’t an accurate measurement of his state since he was a chronic pot user.

The defense team maintained that it was speed — not pot — that led to the fatal crash.

Beer faces a maximum sentence of 25 years behind bars.

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