Sunset Park — The ex-cop who mowed down four members of a family while drunk behind the wheel more than a decade ago is getting out of prison, according to published reports.
Joseph Gray was sentenced to serve five to 15 years in prison after being convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of Maria Herrera, Maria’s 4-year-old son Andy Herrera, and her 16-year-old sister, Dilcia Pena.
Maria Herrera, 24, was eight-months pregnant when she was killed. The infant she was carrying was delivered by emergency Caesarean section in the hospital. The infant, a baby boy, died 13 hours later. His father named him Ricardo.
Gray was intoxicated while driving his mini-van on the night of Aug. 4, 2001, and struck the victims as they were crossing the street on Third Avenue and 46th Street.
Gray, 51, will be released from prison on April 28, according to a report in the Staten Island Advance. He is getting out for good behavior, the Advance reported.
Gray was a cop assigned to the 72nd Precinct when the crash took place. He was off-duty at the time of the crash, but the investigation into the fatal incident revealed that he had gone out drinking with fellow cops for several hours before the incident.
He resigned from the New York Police Department three weeks after his arrest.
Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes sought four counts of manslaughter against Gray.
Gray went on trial and was convicted by a jury in May 2002.
The crime shocked people at the highest levels of the state. George Pataki, the governor at the time, visited the crash scene and hugged members of the Herrera and Pena families. Pataki also attended the funeral for the victims at St. Michael Catholic Church on Fourth Avenue and 42nd Street.
Gray is serving his time at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Duchess County. He has sought parole three times over the years. He was denied all three times.
Criteria include a good disciplinary record, “efficient and willing performance” of assigned duties, or progress and achievement in assigned treatment programs.
While in prison, Gray successfully completed DWI and anger-management programs, the Advance reported.
— Paula Katinas