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April 15, 2022 – Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced that Yorktown resident Mark Cope was sentenced to state prison in connection with a wrong-way, head-on collision he caused while intoxicated, which resulted in the death of Ossining resident Shina McClam.

Cope, 41, was sentenced on April 15, 2022, to a term of 3 to 9 years in state prison after his pleas of guilty to three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Aggravated Vehicular Assault and Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree, all felonies. He also pled guilty to Assault in the Third Degree, Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, two counts of Driving While Intoxicated, and Reckless Driving, all misdemeanors.

The District Attorney’s Office had recommended that the Court impose a term of 6 to 18 years in state prison.

“Mark Cope’s selfish decision to drive while intoxicated resulted in the needless death of a mother and put the lives of the two young passengers at great risk,” DA Rocah said. “Our hearts are with the surviving victims, their families, and the entire Ossining community, which united to take care of the McClam family after this senseless tragedy.”

On Dec. 23, 2020, at approximately 9:07 p.m., Cope drove northbound in the southbound lane on Route 9 in Peekskill when he crashed head-on into the car driven by McClam, and in which McClam’s six-year-old daughter and 18-year-old niece were passengers. Cope had a blood alcohol content of .21 at the time of the collision.

McClam, 32, died at the scene. The surviving passengers were transported to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and treated for their injuries.

New York State Police arrested Cope and conducted the subsequent investigation.

In a victim impact statement made to the court, a surviving passenger said: “My aunt was loving, fun, flamboyant, the glue of the family. She did everything for everyone. An amazing soul. Finding out she was gone made me feel so much pain and yet in that moment I was so numb… I don’t know what you were thinking that night. What you thought was going to happen after you got into your car… You made a choice out of pleasure and fun. You destroyed a family beyond recognition.”

The case was before Judge Barry Warhit in Westchester County Court, and was prosecuted by Major Case Bureau Deputy Chief Jonathan Strongin and Assistant District Attorney Marissa Morra-Wynn.

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Anna Young, Public Information Officer
(914) 995-3586
ayoung@westchesterda.net

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