A drunk driver who allegedly caused a fatal accident in 2012 may still be waiting for his day in court after sentencing was delayed yet again in his case. The Missouri man pleaded guilty to drunk driving charges in October 2013, one year after causing the deadly wreck. He was released on bond immediately after that criminal proceeding, and he has been free ever since. The man could be facing three to 14 years’ prison time in connection with the accident.
Sentencing delays in the case have been caused by a series of unforeseen circumstances. The defendant was supposed to have been sentenced in late January, but his attorney was ill and could not attend. A rescheduled hearing was scheduled on Feb. 20, but the judge was sick and did not come to work. Now, family members say they are tired of the legal system unfairly postponing the sentencing. The next hearing is slated to occur in early March.
Authorities report that the relatives of the 62-year-old female victim are livid about the fact that the man has not yet spent as much as a night in jail. They argue that the man should be in custody still, since the victim was “brutally murdered” because of the man’s DWI offenses. The victim died when her vehicle was rear-ended by the drunk driver.
The defendant could receive a relatively light sentence after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated driving while under the influence. Although the defendant in this case chose to enter a guilty plea, this strategy is not appropriate for all Missouri DWI offenses. A DWI attorney may be able to provide more information about the advantages and drawbacks of entering a guilty plea after a drunk driving wreck.
Source: KMOV.com, “Drunk driving victim’s family angered as sentencing was postponed for third time” Elizabeth Eisele, Feb. 21, 2014