CONVENT — An Ascension Parish man faces up to 30 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in a 2015 crash that killed a 25-year-old Vacherie woman, prosecutors said Thursday.

Prosecutors in St. James Parish said Cory Newton, 28, was too intoxicated to drive when he ignored a red light at the intersection of La. 3125 and La. 3213 and crashed into a car driven by Brittany Harris on March 8, 2015.

Harris' car hit a utility pole after the crash, prosecutors said. Harris, who was 25, wasn't wearing her seat belt, Louisiana State Police said at the time, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Newton, who witnesses saw walk away from the scene and go into nearby woods immediately after the crash north of Gramercy, was later found to have had a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the 0.08 percent that is Louisiana's legal presumption of drunk driving for adults.

Newton had to be found and returned to the scene and was later arrested on several traffic violations and a count of vehicular homicide, prosecutors said.

In an agreement with Assistant District Attorney Adam Koenig and other prosecutors, Newton entered his guilty plea Monday before 23rd Judicial District Judge Jesse LeBlanc.

With a conviction for vehicular homicide, Newton, 42578 Baystone Ave., Prairieville, not only admitted his role in Harris' death but that he was too drunk to drive when the fatal crash occurred.  

LeBlanc set Newton's sentencing for June 10 after a report on a pre-sentencing investigation is expected to be finished.


Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter, @NewsieDave.