A young man is facing criminal charges in connection with an august crash in Ridgeway, Orleans County that left another teenager dead.
Joseph Pearl, 18, appeared in Orleans County Court Monday. He pleaded not guilty last week in Ridgeway to criminally negligent homicide and driving while intoxicated.
YNN's Kate McGowan spoke to the victim's family and friends who are seeking justice.
ALBION, N.Y. — There were tears outside the courtroom from the loved ones of 17-year-old Terry Moyer Jr.
“Every day I see his pictures, the songs he liked – it's just so hard,” said Terry, the victim’s father.
They gathered at Orleans County Court on Monday to face the teenager accused of driving drunk and killing the Medina High School graduate.
"He needs to pay for what he's done. He knew not to drink and drive. He knew not to get behind the wheel,” said Paula Moyer, Terry Jr.’s mom.
In late August, Orleans County Sheriff's deputies say Moyer was killed after the car he was riding in slammed into a tree. Joseph Pearl, 18, was driving the car along Culvert Road in the town of Ridgeway when police say he lost control after passing through a tunnel. Investigators say Moyer was ejected from the backseat. Another passenger suffered injuries.
Pearl was charged with criminally negligent homicide, driving while intoxicated, and other traffic charges.
"It needs to stop before more kids get killed,” said Paula.
Pearl pleaded not guilty in Town of Ridgeway Court earlier in November. He appeared Monday in court, where the judge asked for a pre-sentence investigation.
“There's some preliminary issues we have to deal with before a determination will be made as to his plea, said Joseph Cardone, the District Attorney.
Moyer's mother says the emotions of losing her son are still raw.
"He had so many goals in life. He was going to Alfred for building construction. He was going to start his own business,” said Paula.
His friends and family are hoping that if Pearl is found guilty, he serves time behind bars.
"I'll never forgive him for taking my duder away,” said Amber Albone, a friend.
Pearl was released Monday on his own recognizance and no bail was set. He is due back in court in early January.
Cardone says a plea deal may be offered.