2 Sentenced In Long Island Crash That Killed Engaged Couple

Sophia Hall
December 03, 2019 - 3:08 pm
Joel Kaplan On L.I. Fatal Crash

Sophia Hall/WCBS 880


MINEOLA, N.Y. (WCBS 880) — It was an emotional day inside a Nassau County courtroom as two people were sentenced in connection with a deadly crash that claimed the lives of a young couple just two months before their wedding. 

It was in April 2018 that prosecutors say 21-year-old Yisroel Levin and his fiancée 20-year-old Elisheva Kaplan were coming home from a Passover celebration when two drivers going twice the speed limit crashed into their vehicle in Lawrence.

The car exploded and burst into flames.

The young couple, who were planning to get married in June 2018, died instantly.

In court on Tuesday, one of the drivers, Rahmel Watkins, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for driving recklessly and speeding.

Some family members were not happy with the sentence.

"We appealed to the judge for 25 years to life, that's the sentence he could've given to this career criminal. He chose instead to only give 18, compassion to the criminal. Why was it not 25 years?" one relative said.

A co-defendant who was speeding in a separate vehicle while under the influence of alcohol received three to nine years in prison. 

The two friends, prosecutors said, were headed to a casino when the crash occurred.