Man with Prior Record Gets 59-Year Term for Vehicular Assault

A Missouri man was sentenced to a 59-year prison term after causing an injurious drunk driving accident that wounded two youngsters and an adult. The defendant was accused of second-degree vehicular assault in connection with the accident. He was also charged with leaving the scene of the crash, among other violations.

Authorities say that the 2009 incident occurred when the driver caused a wreck that seriously injured two children — ages 4 and 8 — along with a 27-year-old woman. Prosecutors said that the man reportedly moved the woman into the driver’s seat in an effort to avoid being apprehended for intoxicated driving. As a side effect, the woman’s son was removed from her custody, largely because she thought she was behind the wheel when the crash occurred. Other evidence later came to light indicating that the woman had not been driving when she and her children were injured.

The man was behind the wheel of a 2007 Kia that plunged off of a Missouri roadway. The vehicle struck an embankment before launching into the air and hitting a tree. The driver suffered only moderate injures in the wreck.

The sentence in this case may seem harsh for a simple drunk driving offense, but it is critical to remember that the man is categorized as a persistent offender. The man had previous offenses that included three DWI convictions and at least one conviction for possession of a controlled substance. He still has one case pending in connection with allegedly possessing a controlled substance and attempting to resist arrest. Criminal defendants should remember that their prior record may play a role in sentencing outcomes for a current case, no matter the nature of the allegations.

Source: Daily Journal, “Man sentenced to 59 years for DWI accident” No author given, Apr. 25, 2014

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