GONZALES — A Donaldsonville man sentenced to home incarceration last year in a fatal car crash in 1995 was ordered Monday to serve 60 days in jail after he was caught in a Baton Rouge restaurant two months ago, a violation of his sentence.
Stanley White, 40, 503 Vatican Drive, avoided a two-year prison sentence for 19 years after his 1995 conviction in the car crash that killed 10-week-old Brittany Deville, of St. Amant. The alcohol-related crash on Airline Highway near Gonzales occurred when White was 19 years old.
In addition to the jail time Monday, Judge Jessie LeBlanc, of the 23rd Judicial District, also clarified and tightened the terms of White’s home incarceration after he serves the 60-day sentence.
LeBlanc told White, who stood in court next to his attorney Monday in a business suit, that the home incarceration sentence is supposed to limit his freedom.
“That is the point of the sentence,” LeBlanc said.
Once LeBlanc finished reading her sentence, White was taken into custody by Ascension Parish sheriff’s deputies.
White was initially sentenced to two years in prison in 1995. An appeals court affirmed White’s negligent homicide conviction in February 1997, but White was never called to serve his time in prison in a still-unexplained oversight.
After White’s failure to serve jail time came to light and cycled through the district and appeal courts in recent years, prosecutors and White’s defense attorney agreed in September that White would serve two years of home incarceration.
But LeBlanc had limited White’s travel from his home to trips only for work, church, to go the doctor’s office or to fulfill the terms of his probation.
In practice, the state Office of Probation and Parole was also allowing White, who lives alone, to travel for other matters, such as trips to the grocery, with prior approval, his attorney Steven Moore said.
Moore said White’s probation officer testified Monday that White had gone to the Siegen Lane IHOP on Jan. 18 without first getting prior approval.
The parents of Brittany Deville ran into White as he was leaving the restaurant and they were waiting for a table, Rachel Deville, 47, the mother of Brittany, has said.
White apparently called his probation officer afterward.
Deville had said last month she and her husband had wanted to see White’s probation revoked and have him serve the full two-year prison sentence. But prosecutors had said they would seek at least some jail time for White.
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LeBlanc did not revoke the probation, but the Devilles and prosecutors said they were pleased with the ruling Monday.
“I’m excited and happy that we did get something today,” Deville said outside the courthouse.
Kurt Wall, director of the state Attorney General’s Office Criminal Division, called LeBlanc’s ruling very appropriate.
“Obviously, Stanley White’s actions demanded that she take some type of action, and we’re pleased that she had decided to put him in jail for 60 days. I think that’ll send a strong message,” Wall said.
He added that the judge realized White had gotten a break by being sentenced to home incarceration, a privilege that he violated.
Moore, White’s defense attorney, said later that while he feels LeBlanc has been fair with White, he disagreed with the ruling Monday. Moore had asked that the judge give White some type of proactive punishment, such as community service.
Part of LeBlanc’s ruling requires Probation and Parole to keep closer tabs on White, including monthly home checks. White is also getting his probation officer’s personal cellphone number so he can request prior approval for travel, Moore said.
The 23rd JDC encompasses Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes.
Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.