MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a Brooklyn man has pleaded guilty to the highest charge of manslaughter for the June 18 wrong-way crash that killed a pregnant woman and her unborn fetus.
Courtney Corbett, 29, pleaded guilty today before Judge Meryl Berkowitz to:
- Manslaughter in the Second Degree (a C felony)
- Two counts of Assault in the Second Degree (a D violent felony)
- Five counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (a D felony)
- Assault in the Third Degree (an A misdemeanor)
- Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree (an A misdemeanor)
- Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in the Third Degree (an A misdemeanor)
- Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor)
The defendant is due back in court January 3 and the NCDA is recommending a sentence of six to 12 years in prison.
“It is heartbreaking and incomprehensible that Demytra Gibbs and her unborn child were killed because this defendant drove like a madman to avoid shoplifting charges,” DA Singas said. “There can be no justification and no excuse for the risks the defendant took with everyone’s lives on the road that day or for the lives that he cut short within his own car.”
DA Singas said on June 18, there was a call about a shoplifting incident at a Manhasset shopping center. NCPD officers spotted the vehicle as it was traveling southbound on Shelter Rock Road near the intersection of Northern Boulevard and officers attempted to pull it over by activating overhead lights and sirens. Instead of pulling over, the driver of the vehicle, the defendant, continued to drive at a high rate of speed while recklessly swerving around other vehicles and blatantly disregarding several red lights on Shelter Rock Road. As police continued to follow the car, the defendant began driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of the Long Island Expressway’s service road and crashed head-on into an Audi. The impact of the crash killed the defendant’s front-seat passenger, his fiancé, Demytrya Gibbs, who was six-months pregnant. Her fetus did not survive. The defendant, his back-seat passenger and the driver of the Audi were all treated for various injuries.
Assistant District Attorney Patrick Brand and Deputy Bureau Chief Michael Bushwack of DA Singas’ Vehicular Crimes Bureau are prosecuting this case. The defendant is represented by Jenna Suppan, Esq.