ACA.richeytrial.01.031120

Joseph Dakota Richey

The driver in a crash that resulted in the death of a Univeristy of Louisiana at  Lafayette graduate student has pleaded guilty, KATC reported.

Joseph Dakota Richey, 26, of Scott, pleaded guilty Monday to negligent homicide, possession of synthetic marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless operation, speeding and no seat belt.

Richey appeared in court via video conferencing. The victim in the 2017 crash on West Congress at Guilbeau Road was Brad Wedlock. Wedlock's family was in court Monday but did not make any statements.

Richey was sentenced to five years in prison on the negligent homicide charge; six months for the synthetic marijuana charge; 60 days for the parphernalia charge; 90 days for reckless operation and 30 days for speeding. The judge ordered that the sentences be served consecutively.

In February, Richey waived his right to a trial by jury. He was set for trial today, but pleaded guilty instead.

Richey read-ended the vehicle of Brad Wedlock about 1 p.m. April 3, 2017, on West Congress Street near Guilbeau Road. The impact caused Wedlock's vehicle to catch fire. He died as a result of his injuries.

Wedlock, 28, was a doctoral candidate at UL.

Richey was charged in a bill of information with vehicular homicide, OWI, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless operation, speeding and safety belt violation. 

Lafayette attorney Alfred Boustany III, who represents Richey, filed a motion Feb. 10 waiving a jury trial and requesting Judge Edward Rubin with the 15th Judicial District court, decide the case, court records show.

Richey was charged in August 2015 with possession of drug paraphernalia, and in December 2015 with resisting arrest and two counts of possession of synthetic marijuana. A pretrial hearing on those charges is scheduled for Sept. 15.