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Men jailed in US after leaving Donegal man to die on grandmother's lawn

Liam McGlinchey (19) was left in a dangerously intoxicated state in New York in August 2017.

AN AMERICAN TEENAGER who urinated on his young Irish friend as he lay dying on his grandmother’s front lawn has been jailed for six months.

Samuel Heroux left 19-year-old Co Donegal man Liam McGlinchey in a dangerously intoxicated state in New York in August 2017.

Liam, from Buncrana, had been out celebrating passing his exams with friends.

Two men,  Heroux (21) of Cohoes and Isaiah DePiazza (19) of Foxwoods Drive, Clifton Park were charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Details of Liam’s horrific death were given in court yesterday.

Judge John Murphy slammed Heroux’s actions in a sentencing hearing.

He said “Dumping Liam and urinating on him and filming the urination, seeing foam from dying Liam’s mouth — instead of doing something, you leave.

“A 911 call, a knock on the door, a drop at the hospital, a call for help would have saved his life.

“The failure to act and care about anyone but yourself, the apathy and disregard for another person’s life is your pattern of behaviour.

He sentenced him to six months in jail and put him on five years probation.

‘Gentle giant’

The other accused, Isaiah DePiazza, had originally been expected to get probation but was sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison for breaking his parole.

The tragic man’s sister said Heroux’s actions were “vile, despicable, thoughtless and heartless.”

In a recorded video shown in court, Charlotte McGlinchey said that her brother was a gentle giant whose death traumatised his family because Heroux and DePiazza left her brother “as if he were garbage.”

“I lost my brother and best friend,” she said. “Every time you inhale, I hope you feel the breaths Liam struggled to take.”

Liam’s dad Liam Snr is from Buncrana and although he was born in the US, the late Liam Jnr spent many years in Donegal where he found work cutting turf before returning to the US to start college.

He had been living with his grandmother when he died.

Toxicology reports from his autopsy showed Mr McGlinchey had a blood alcohol content of 0.40%, a level that medical experts say can be high enough to cause death.

After his death, Liam’s heartbroken mother Helen pleaded with young people to look after each other when they were out socially.

She revealed how her son loved Ireland and Donegal and said that anybody who knew him knew he was a gentle giant.

She said “It’s hard as my whole family is in America, but I do have a lot of support here locally. Friends are being very helpful.

“The most important message is that nobody else needs to lose a son or daughter. Make sure you look after your friends and please be aware that you can die of consuming too much alcohol.”

Stephen Maguire
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