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Prosecutors appeal suspension of negligent homicide sentence

Earlier this month, a Louisiana district court judge suspended the two-year sentence of a Donaldson man who was convicted of negligent homicide in connection with the 1994 death of a 10-week old St. Amant girl. On Monday, the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office initiated an appeal of that decision.

The state reportedly seeks to supplement the record and requested the transcript of the May 3 hearing that led to the decision. The Donaldson man was 19 years old when the accident took place. According to sources, the infant was unrestrained at the time of the accident, and was ejected from the vehicle. It was later discovered that the man had a blood alcohol content fo .08 percent. Nowadays, that is over the state’s threshold for presumptive drunken driving, but back then it was not. 

The man was originally booked on driving while intoxicated. That charge was later dropped and he was charged with vehicular homicide. The year after the accident, he pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and was sentenced to two years imprisonment.

That sentence was upheld on appeal, but the man whas not taken into custody and he did not serve time. Earlier this month, it was ruled that too much time had passed to enforce the sentence, which was suspended. In its place, the man was ordered to serve two years of supervised probation.

The state plans to file with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal after receiving the transcript. It could be up to three months or more before a hearing actually takes place before the appellate court. 

Source: Source: The Advocate, “State starts appeal in negligent homicide case,” Bret H. McCormick, May 13, 2013. 

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