Michael Grasing, the Babylon man accused of driving drunk and causing a car crash that killed , is now facing a murder charge.
A grand jury indictment unsealed on Wednesday morning in a Riverhead court room is charging Grasing with second degree murder, the first time in recent memory a DWI has resulted in such a charge in Suffolk County.
In addition, he faces charges that include aggravated vehicular homicide, second degree manslaughter, leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, first degree reckless endangerment and aggravated driving while intoxicated.
The arraignment also included three lesser driving charges.
Grasing pled not guilty to all of the listed charges.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, speaking to reporters after the arraignment, called Grasing's alleged drunk driving "some of the worst I've ever seen."
"The actions...and decisions of the defendant to continue to drive and not to pull over cry out for the crime of murder in the second degree," said Spota.
"My decision was made not only because we have a recorded BAC of .30...not only because he was speeding...not only because he was driving all over the road...but combined with that, this defendant was warned beforehand his dangerous and erratic driving could kill someone," he said.
Eyewitnesses spoke about a driver that yelled at Grasing the night of the crash to pull over in West Babylon because of his erratic driving.
Thomas Walsh, Brittney's father, stood behind Spota along with his wife and family during the conference. He said seeing Grasing for the first time was "difficult."
"No matter what happens in the court room, it'll never bring back my little girl," said Walsh.
According to police, Grasing reportedly swerved in and out of traffic, ran red lights, drove on the sidewalk and sped at rates of 85 to 100 miles per hour driven by Lindenhurst 18-year-old Brittney Walsh.
The impact flipped her car several times before stopping at a utility pole. The recent Copiague High School graduate died at the scene.
Grasing was of .30, nearly four times the legal limit, nearly an hour-and-a-half after the crash, according to Spota.
Grasing's bail was reset during Wednesday's arraignment. Bail now sits at $1,000,000 cash and the surrender of his passport.