AMITE — A judge refused to reduce the prison sentences Wednesday of a man who pleaded guilty to running over and killing three young people near Southeastern Louisiana University four years ago.
In February 2011, Derek Quebedeaux was sentenced to three concurrent 12-year-sentences in the death of his roommate and two other pedestrians he struck and killed while driving home from a bar.
At Wednesday’s hearing, Quebedeaux’s attorney dropped a request to suppress Quebedeaux’s confession, but moved forward on a post-conviction motion asking 21st Judicial District Judge Doug Hughes to give Quebedeaux credit for time he spent being monitored while out on bond.
“We don’t want to reopen the case,” attorney Michael Thiel told the judge in dropping the request to throw out Quebedeaux’s confession.
Theil said Quebedeaux has been a model prisoner, pursuing a college degree and helping 30 other prisoners get their General Educational Development certificates.
“His conduct is indicative of someone who wants to put his life on the right track,” Thiel said of his client. “He accepts his responsibility.”
But prosecutor Greg Murphy said Quebedeaux isn’t accepting responsibility by trying to reduce his prison time and is causing the families of the victims pain by bringing a “meritless motion” to court.
“All we are doing here today is reopening the wound,” Murphy said. “At some point, this has to stop.”
Hughes ruled he does not have the jurisdiction to grant Quebedeaux’s motion, and added that if he did have jurisdiction, he would deny the motion.
Asked who would have such jurisdiction, District Attorney Scott Perrilloux replied, “the governor.”
The governor could grant a pardon, but the court loses jurisdiction over sentencing 30 days after a sentence is issued, Perrilloux said after the hearing.
Outside the courthouse, Thiel said he felt the judge had jurisdiction to credit his client with a year-and-a-half of time during which he was being monitored while awaiting trial, but Thiel said he doesn’t expect his client to try to take the case any further.
Gilbert Boudreaux said he was starting to cope with the loss of his granddaughter, Beth Boudreaux, who was one of the three people killed, but, he said, the hearing brought back the pain.
Thiel said his client isn’t an “abject monster,” and added that two of the people Quebedeaux hit that night were Quebedeaux’s close friends.
The three people killed were Beth Boudreaux, a sophomore from Loranger; Maxime Profit, a graduate student from France; and Thurman Lowe III, a former SLU football player. Two other people were injured.
At the time of Quebedeaux’s arrest, police said he was driving drunk when he ran into a crowd of pedestrians, killing three and injuring two others.
All the casualties were among a group walking from a nightclub several blocks from the SLU campus, Hammond police reported at the time.
Police said Quebedeaux drove from the spot where his vehicle struck the pedestrians to his residence about 100 yards away, where police arrested him later.
Hughes sentenced Quebedeaux in 2011 to serve 12 years in prison on each of three counts of vehicular homicide; five years in prison on each of two counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injury; and 10 years in prison on each of five counts of hit-and-run. All of the sentences are to run concurrently. Three years of each vehicular homicide count are to be served without the possibility of probation or parole.