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Jun 20, 2019 3:14 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Chace Quinn Sentenced To Eight To 24 Years For Fatal County Road 39 Hit-And-Run Accident

Chace Quinn at his arraignment in May of 2018.
Jun 26, 2019 11:08 AM

A Shinnecock Indian Reservation man who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run on County Road 39 in Shinnecock Hills last year was sentenced to eight to 24 years in a state prison by a Suffolk County Supreme Court justice in Central Islip on Thursday, June 20.

Chace Quinn, 20, was identified by police as the driver of a 2013 Jeep Wrangler that hit Joseph Lynn McAlla, a 63-year-old Clifford, Pennsylvania, man who was finishing up a delivery of stone to Southampton Masonry in the early morning hours of April 5, 2018.

Once Mr. McAlla was done, he crossed County Road 39 on foot to get into his truck when he was struck by the Jeep. The impact caused Mr. McAlla’s leg to sever from his body. It was found 70 feet away from where he died.

Instead of stopping to help Mr. McAlla, Mr. Quinn fled the scene and remained on the run for nearly a month and a half, until he was arrested by State Police on May 28, 2018, on Sunrise Highway. Authorities said Mr. Quinn was attempting to flee the state to live with family in Georgia.

He was charged with aggravated vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, intimidating a witness, and driving while intoxicated.

He pleaded guilty to the charges in May 2019 as part of a deal with prosecutors.

Before Mr. Quinn was sentenced last week, his attorney, Robert Schalk, told Justice Fernando Camacho that his client wanted to drop him as an attorney and wished to adjourn the sentencing until he could get a new attorney to represent him. Justice Camacho denied the request to delay the sentencing.

Members of Mr. McAlla’s family were given the opportunity to say a few words to Mr. Quinn before he was sentenced.

Donna Keslo, Mr. McAlla’s daughter, called Mr. Quinn a “cold, heartless killer” and said she prays the court can keep him off the streets.

She told Mr. Quinn that losing her father put an enormous amount of stress on the family. She also asked Mr. Quinn how he would write a letter addressing the person who took his father or close family member away, adding that it would be impossible.

She reflected on her father, saying he was a husband, father, grandfather and an essential part of her mother, Jean McAlla’s, life. She said her mother and father were working and planning for a pleasant retirement together.

“All this before he was so senselessly and cruelly taken from us by such an individual who has absolutely zero remorse for human life,” Ms. Keslo said. “A man who thinks it’s a joke to take a good man’s life and leave him for dead on a road in the middle of the night without so much as picking up a phone and calling to get help for the man. A cold, heartless killer is what Mr. Quinn is, and this will never change for this young man.”

Ms. McAlla spoke about her time with her husband, as they would have celebrated their 45th anniversary together a few weeks after he was killed. “There is no amount of time in a situation like this that will make this sadness go away,” she said. “Not having time to say goodbye is so traumatic, and it affects me every day, in everything I see and come across that he loved. I pray every day that he did not suffer.”

Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Maggie Bopp said Mr. Quinn did not have to get behind the wheel of the car the night Mr. McAlla was killed. She said Mr. Quinn was seen on video taken earlier that night, drinking Long Island iced teas, Corona beers and Hennessy shots, and to this day has not accepted responsibility for Mr. McAlla’s death.

When given a chance to speak at the sentencing, Mr. Quinn declined.

Justice Camacho said as a judge, he considers the character of people when watching over court cases. In this case, he said, the victim was a decent, kind and good-hearted man, and the man facing him was a man with no regard for anything other than himself.

“This defendant is an extreme threat to the community and can never be rehabilitated,” he said.

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