NEW YORK (FOX5NY.COM) - Jamel Turner rolled his eyes inside the courtroom as he listened to the upgraded charges against him. He now faces a 40-plus count indictment.
Suffolk County prosecutors say the 23-year-old was remorseless as he fled from police in a stolen car back in February before crashing and killing five people.
One of the survivors, the driver of an oil truck involved in the crash, came to court wearing a neck brace.
"It's my office's intent to ensure Mr. Turner never, ever gets out of prison," Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini said.
Prosecutors have strong evidence—including narcotics analysis, DNA, and collision reconstruction—supporting their case, Sini said.
Turner pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is accused of being a gang member and a drug dealer who allegedly stole the car to "get busy on the boys." Prosecutors said that is slang for fleeing the police at high rates of speed—in this case, 154 mph. He has 10 prior convictions. At the time of the crash, had a warrant out for his arrest.
"We have evidence that he bragged to his friends over a period of time on different occasions that he would flee from police," Sini said.
Turner's attorney, Donald Mates, called the case an "ill-conceived overcharged indictment."
"I've heard allegations, I've heard rumors, I've heard a laundry list of what he's allegedly done—I haven't seen any evidence whatsoever," Mates said. "Haven't seen the grand jury minutes. Nothing's been turned over to me."
Turner's girlfriend said she disagrees with the allegations.
"That car wasn't stolen," Jeanette Patterson said. "He's not a thief. He's not a bad person."
The judge ordered Turner to remain in custody pending trial. He is due back in court in May.