An Amite man who killed a Baton Rouge couple in an alcohol- and speed-related crash at the intersection of Florida and Sherwood Forest boulevards received an 18-year prison term Friday. He also received forgiveness.

David McCoy, 35, was driving 82 mph around 1:30 a.m. on April 18, 2018, and had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19% when he ran a red light and smashed into a car driven by Gatveyea “Gabby” Williams, killing the 30-year-old woman and her 29-year-old husband, Jonathan Williams. The speed limit on that stretch of Florida Boulevard is 50 mph.

McCoy apologized to the victims’ families inside state District Judge Kelly Balfour’s courtroom shortly after Gatveyea Williams’ sisters said they forgive the man who took their sibling from them and orphaned the couple’s two young children.

“Anger won’t bring Jonathan and Gabby back,” said Gatveyea Williams’ younger sister, Jessica Buckley.

Buckley called the fatal crash a nightmare and said her whole world changed that day. She said her family constantly reminds her niece and nephew that their parents loved them.

“Mr. McCoy, I do not hate you. I wish you had made better decisions,” she said from the witness box in the 19th Judicial District courtroom. “I forgive you and I hope you forgive yourself.”

Shaunta B. Okereke, sister of Gatveyea Williams, stated in a written victim impact statement given to the judge that her sister “touched so many lives on a daily basis.”

“She was always there for comfort and understanding,” Okereke wrote, adding that the couple was “wise beyond their years.”

The Williamses were both involved in Bethany Church in Baton Rouge.

Okereke said she can’t look at her niece and nephew without crying. Her niece lives with her.

“We forgive you,” she wrote. “We’re going to enjoy all the good memories. They were good people.”

McCoy turned and apologized to the victims’ families and said, “No matter what I do, I can never bring your loved ones back.”

“The only thing I can do is move forward and be an advocate,” he said, adding that the forgiveness he received means a lot to him.

McCoy pleaded guilty in April to two counts of vehicular homicide, a crime that involves intoxication. In Louisiana, a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% is considered presumptive evidence of drunken driving.

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