Suffern teen gets 6 months behind bars for driving drunk, killing classmate in crash

A 17-year-old from Suffern was sentenced to six months behind bars plus five years' probation after pleading guilty to driving drunk and killing his classmate in a car crash last year.

News 12 Staff

Mar 15, 2022, 7:34 PM

Updated 850 days ago

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A 17-year-old from Suffern was sentenced to six months behind bars plus five years' probation after pleading guilty to driving drunk and killing his classmate in a car crash last year.
Joseph Debellis admitted he was driving drunk and had smoked marijuana the morning he crashed his Jaguar into a utility pole on Route 202 in Montebello.
He and three other teens who were passengers suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, but 16-year-old Jacqueline Zangrilli died at the scene.
Debellis was driving nearly twice the speed limit when he crashed, according to prosecutors.
The 17-year-old pleaded guilty to 12 of the 17 charges he was facing, including aggravated vehicular homicide, manslaughter and reckless driving.
Zangrilli's mother called the six-month sentence "a joke," and added it was too short to deter other kids from recklessly drinking and driving.


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