Sitting silently in a wheelchair, Herbert B. Martinez was arraigned Friday on charges of criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of two of his friends and classmates at West Hempstead High School after a noontime crash last spring.

Martinez, 17, of 563 Grant Ave., West Hempstead, was arraigned on two counts of reckless endangerment and one count each of reckless driving and speeding.

He was released on his own recognizance after County Judge David Sullivan took note of his condition and disabilities during the arraignment in county court in Mineola.

According to his lawyer, Brian Griffin of Garden City, Martinez suffered serious injuries after the accident, on Nassau Boulevard in West Hempstead, which took place shortly before noon on April 10.

Three West Hempstead High School teens were involved in the crash, which killed Saul Hernandez Lopez, 17, a senior from West Hempstead and a novice boxer, who died within an hour of the accident; and Quinntin McDonald, 17, a senior from West Hempstead and an aspiring chef, who died the next day from head trauma.


Martinez is scheduled to be back in court Oct. 30. He faces up to 4 years in prison if convicted, said Det. Sgt. Gregory Quinn.