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Published on February 22, 2024
Boynton Beach Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Vehicular Homicide of Cyclist in Lake Worth BeachSource: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A Boynton Beach man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for a fatal crash that took the life of a 74-year-old bicyclist and caused severe damage to a Lake Worth Beach church. The man, Corey Bell, 42, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash, as reported by WPTV.

Last March, Bell was speeding in a stolen car down a residential road when he lost control and collided with Jim Beloian who stood with his bicycle in front of Lakeside United Methodist Church, said authorities. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office stated that Bell fled the crash site, leaving behind the dying man after hitting a building, according to The Palm Beach Post.

The collision was of such force it was described as looking like "a bomb went off," and was called the worst case seen by Assistant State Attorney Storm Tropea in his career. Despite ultimately confessing to his crime on the day his trial was to begin, after declining a 20-year plea deal, Bell hoped for a lesser sentence only to receive the opposite from Circuit Judge Daliah Weiss. Weiss, in her sentencing, highlighted the egregiousness of Bell's actions and his past run-ins with the law.

Beloian, remembered as an avid outdoorsman and cautious cyclist, met his tragic end that prosecutors characterized as a "nightmarish irony." During the sentencing, friends and family recollected the vibrant spirit of Beloian, with Kathleen Kramer, a nurse and a friend who witnessed the aftermath of the crash, said that she had never seen an injury of that magnitude. Bell's attorney, Barry Feingold, referred to his client as a "gentle giant," implying that the shock of the event prompted his flight from the scene, said The Palm Beach Post.

In the courtroom, Bell offered an apology to Beloian's family, speaking about the guilt he carried with him, overshadowing the joy of becoming a new grandfather while in custody. "It's hard being joyful as a father and a grandfather when there's a family missing their father," he said, according to The Palm Beach Post. Bell will now face the ramifications of his actions, spending a significant portion of his life behind bars.

Miami-Crime & Emergencies