Bentley Butler was speeding while drunk and high and crashed on Southern State Parkway
MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced a Rosedale man was sentenced Tuesday to up to 7 years in prison for leading New York State troopers on a high-speed chase on the Southern State Parkway while the defendant was drunk and high in May 2020.
Bentley Butler, 35, was convicted on December 2, 2022, after a jury trial before Judge Caryn Fink of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (a D felony); Driving While Ability Impaired by the Combined Influence of Drugs and Alcohol (a D felony); Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol (a D felony); Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree (an E felony); Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree (an unclassified misdemeanor); Circumvention of a Court Ordered Ignition Interlock Device (an A misdemeanor); Reckless Driving (an unclassified misdemeanor); Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree (an A misdemeanor); Resisting Arrest (an A misdemeanor) and Unlawful Fleeing a Police Officer in a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree (an A misdemeanor).
The trial began on November 21, 2022, and the jury deliberated for approximately two hours before delivering their verdict. The defendant was sentenced Tuesday to 2-1/3 to 7 years in prison.
“The defendant was weaving in and out of traffic on the Southern State Parkway when a concerned motorist called 911,” DA Donnelly said. “When a New York State trooper encountered his vehicle, Butler accelerated to approximately 120 miles per hour and later crashed. The defendant incredulously claimed at trial that his vehicle was driven by another person. Today’s sentence sends a strong message that drunk and drugged driving will not be tolerated on our roadways.”
DA Donnelly said that at approximately 9:45 p.m. on May 28, 2020, the New York State Police received a 911 call for an erratic driver headed eastbound on the Southern State Parkway near exit 20. When state troopers located Butler, he disregarded their lights and sirens and immediately accelerated in an attempt to flee.
Butler accelerated to approximately 120 miles per hour, leading troopers on a high-speed chase before losing control of his vehicle and slamming into the center median of the parkway. The defendant then tried to flee the troopers on foot but was ultimately apprehended and arrested.
Butler was taken to Nassau University Medical Center for observation because of the severity of the crash.
It was later revealed that the defendant had a BAC of .21% and evidence of Marijuana in his system.
At trial, the defendant testified that he smokes marijuana several times a day and even asked the presiding Judge if he could smoke marijuana during a lunch break. The defendant further testified that his cousin was driving when the car fled and crashed, and he was simply “vibing” in the back seat. However, Butler was found climbing through the driver’s seat window after the crash before fleeing on foot.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Alexander DePalo and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Vota of the Vehicular Crimes Bureau. The defendant is represented by Dennis Lemke, Esq.