A Missouri man has pleaded guilty in connection to three criminal charges related to a fatal drunk driving crash in Columbia. The defendant, age 22, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault for his role in the fatal wreck. The man did not face a formal drunk driving charge in connection with the crash; instead, he was subject to the three other, more severe allegations.
Sentencing for the fatal wreck is slated to occur in early June. Prosecutors are seeking a seven-year term, while defense attorneys are pursuing a more lenient sentence under an existing Missouri law. In that case, the man would receive a minimum of four months in prison, and he would be required to undergo treatment for alcohol issues. That sentence would provide a better option for this defendant, according to his legal team. The lighter sentence would allow the man to be granted probation instead of serving years in custody.
Official reports show that the man is accused of killing a 24-year-old passenger who was riding in a truck that he struck after crossing the center line. The accident occurred in December 2012. One of the injured victims is still in a coma, and another person also suffered injury in the wreck. The defendant was reportedly 20 at the time of the accident, and his blood alcohol concentration at the time of the DWI offense was 0.122 percent.
Defendants who are facing DWI offenses for fatal or injurious accidents may face severe penalties including prison time and license suspension. A criminal defense attorney in Missouri may be able to pursue reduced penalties for those who are facing their DWI first offense. Those lawyers may also provide advice and guidance throughout criminal proceedings for DWI offenses in Missouri.
Source: KQFX Fox 22, “Man pleads guilty in deadly 2012 Columbia crash” Lucas Geisler, Mar. 31, 2014