Long Island man sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for death of gas station manager

A Long Island man convicted of running over a gas station manager in order to flee the station without paying was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison on Friday.

Cemal Dagdeviren, 59, who also went by John, was a gas station attendant in Baldwin in Nassau County.

In January 2019, Dagdeviren was working when Joshua Roston, 37, who had pumped $22 worth of gas, attempted to leave the station without paying.

Dagdeviren confronted Roston about not paying for the fuel, trying to prevent him from driving away by standing in front of the vehicle.

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That was when police said Roston accelerated, driving over Dagdeviren and leaving him to die.

Dagdeviren's family said that, even after Friday's sentencing, the healing process will take time. They described Dagdeviren as a selfless person who came to the United States from Turkey and worked hard to live out the American dream. 

"Whether it was a flat, someone who needed gifts, he was always helping others out," said John’s son, Ceyhun. 

Roston, who prosecutors say tried to steal gas from other stations and had a prior felony conviction, walked out of the courthouse in handcuffs after he was sentenced. He called John’s death a terrible accident. 

Roston's attorney, Joseph Lo Piccolo plans to file an appeal. 

"He absolutely was wrong for leaving the scene of the accident, but he maintains he did not intend to kill the deceased, and he is remorseful," he said. 

According to Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly, Roston's remorse comes as little consolation. 

"All Roston had to do was stop, and he didn’t," she said.