Guilty plea in DUI deaths of teen cousins

A 33-year-old Cape May County man will be sentenced to up to 18 years in prison for his guilty plea in the deaths of two teenage cousins who were run down by an SUV in Middle Township two years ago, officials said Wednesday.

Joshua Malmgren admitted being under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs and texting when he hit Niaomi Lazicki, 15, and Ashley Dauber, 13, about 9:20 p.m. on July 31, 2012, authorities said.

He pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts to first-degree aggravated manslaughter.

The girls, who were cousins, were walking on the shoulder of Bayshore Road when they were struck. Lazicki's 14-year-old sister who was with them escaped injury.

Cape May County Prosecutor Robert L. Taylor said that Malmgren not only was texting when he hit the girls, but had an blood alcohol content of .18, more than twice the legal limit, and also had taken pain killers and an antianxiety drug.

Under the plea agreement, Malmgren, of Middle Township, will be sentenced on Dec. 5 to two nine-year terms to be served consecutively, Taylor said. He must serve at little over 15-years before becoming eligible for parole.