A Tangipahoa Parish father who caused a crash that hospitalized and ultimately killed his 5-year-old son, pleaded guilty Monday to negligent homicide.
Toney Gallo, 55, was sentenced immediately after his plea in state District Court in Tangipahoa Parish to 18 years in prison, with credit for time served.
Gallo had been driving his F-150 truck with his son in the back seat the night of March 17, 2018, when he ran off South Range Road in Tangipahoa Parish and hit a concrete barrier.
Gallo was incapacitated and the boy suffered severe head trauma, according to court documents. The child was transported to a nearby hospital and soon moved to intensive care, where he stayed for more than a month before ultimately being transferred to hospice care. He died in May 2018, documents state.
Gallo initially refused a blood alcohol test but after obtaining a warrant, investigators determined he had been driving with a level of 0.231, roughly three times the legal limit. It was his third DWI offense.
Gallo was initially charged with negligent injuring, but when the boy died, the charge was upgraded to negligent homicide.
Gallo was scheduled to go to trial Monday, but made a last-minute plea to one count of vehicular homicide.
Autumn Payton, spokeswoman for the 21st Judicial District Attorney's Office, said Gallo was sentenced to 18 years in prison, five of which must be served without parole, probation or a suspension of sentence. He will get credit for time served.