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Richard Miller

GONZALES — An Ascension Parish man convicted of his fifth driving while intoxicated charge faces up to 30 years in state prison when he is expected to appear before a judge for sentencing early next year, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Richard Miller, 62, pleaded guilty to a DWI fourth or subsequent offense charge last week ahead of his expected jury trial, prosecutors with the 23rd Judicial District said in a statement. In addition that latest DWI conviction, Miller had a January 1994 conviction for vehicular homicide in East Baton Rouge Parish for which he previously served prison time.  

The most recent DWI conviction stems from an Oct. 16, 2016, arrest in which Ascension Parish sheriff's deputies reported finding Miller sleeping behind the wheel of a 2008 Chrysler Sebring about 6 a.m. The car was parked in the middle of West 9th Street in Donaldsonville with the engine still running.

Miller refused to perform a field sobriety test or take a chemical breath test, prosecutors said.  

Once out of the car, he told the deputy he had to urinate and, despite being told to wait, did so near the patrol deputy's vehicle, a plea agreement says.

Later, they said, Miller fell asleep during an interview with deputies and was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Gonzales for evaluation. Once he was medically cleared, he was booked with DWI fourth or subsequent offense or subsequent DWI, obscenity and other counts, prosecutors said. 

Miller, 5267 Galaxy Blvd., Darrow, entered the guilty plea Oct. 24 at the Parish Courthouse Annex in Gonzales in a plea bargain with Assistant District Attorney Phil Maples and other prosecutors in which both sides agreed to a pre-sentence investigation. There was no agreement to limit the amount of time that Miller could be sentenced to serve in prison, prosecutors said.

Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr. of the 23rd Judicial District Court deferred sentencing pending the investigation and tentatively set the sentencing hearing for 1 p.m. Jan. 9.

Miller, whose previous DWI convictions were in East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes, remained out of jail Tuesday on bail of $30,000, online jail records say.

Kliebert ordered Miller not to consume alcohol and to wear alcohol consumption monitoring bracelet while out on bail.

Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.