An Aquebogue man pleaded guilty yesterday to driving under the influence of crystal meth just over two years after he was involved in a car crash in Nassau County that killed two men on the side of the road next to their broken down car.
Robert Beodeker, 52, took a plea deal admitting to aggravated vehicular homicide and driving under the influence of drugs.
On March 4, 2013, Mr. Beodeker was driving his pickup around 12:40 p.m. on the Meadowbrook Parkway when he crashed into a disabled Nissan Maxima and two pedestrians who were tending to the car. The pedestrians, John Elder, 76, of Freeport and Edward Ross, 65, of North Bellmore died at the scene.
Mr. Beodeker originally pleaded not guilty as he faced charges of negligent homicide and second-degree manslaughter and up to 25 years in prison.
Dana Grossblatt, an attorney for Mr. Beodeker, said on Tuesday that she replaced her client’s previous attorney, Robert Wool, about 10 months ago. She said Mr. Beodeker took a plea to “spare the family from a drawn-out trial.”
Mr. Beodeker had been working as an associate dean of student services at Suffolk County Community College before the crash, and is well-known in the North Fork community arts scene.
Nassau County acting district attorney Madeline Singas provided the following statement: “These innocent men, John Elder and Edward Ross, were killed because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and found themselves in the path of a driver impaired by crystal methamphetamine at lunchtime on a clear day. It is also disturbing that the defendant was impaired on his way to work as a college administrator.”
Mr. Beodeker now faces a sentence of 4 to 12 years. A formal sentencing hearing will take place on May 18.