The Louisiana Supreme Court will hear arguments May 7 in the case of a St. Landry Parish man whose convictions were reduced in a 2011 alcohol-related road rage crash in Baton Rouge that cost five people their lives.
East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors want the high court to reinstate David Leger's vehicular homicide convictions and eight-year prison term.
The state 1st Circuit Court of Appeal reduced Leger's convictions to negligent homicide in 2017 and ordered him resentenced, saying nothing pointed to his intoxication as a contributing factor in the Interstate 10 crash that claimed the lives of five Ascension Parish residents, including three young boys.
Prosecutors are asking Louisiana's top court to reinstate a St. Landry Parish man's vehicular homicide conviction and eight-year prison term i…
The appeals court said the purpose of the vehicular homicide law is to curb traffic fatalities caused by alcohol consumption. The law is not aimed to persons involved in vehicular fatalities whose alcohol consumption does not cause but merely coincides with such an accident, the court added.
Negligent homicide is the killing of a human being by criminal negligence, and is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Leger's appellate attorneys are asking the Supreme Court not to disturb the appeals court decision.
The high court agreed in January to hear the case, and set the May 7 hearing date Friday.
Louisiana's top court agreed Friday to hear the case of a St. Landry Parish man whose convictions were reduced in a fiery, 2011 'road rage' cr…
Leger, 36, of Palmetto, and Kelsye Hall, 29, of Baton Rouge, were engaged in a high-speed game of "cat and mouse" on I-10 West on March 13, 2011, when Leger tried to pass Hall's SUV on the right shoulder, according to trial testimony. The two vehicles came into contact, and Leger's pickup spun out of control and crossed the grassy median.
His truck collided with a car driven by Effie Fontenot, 29, of Prairieville, on I-10 East between the Highland Road exit and the Bluff Road overpass. Fontenot's car burst into flames.
Fontenot and her sons — Austin and Keagan Fontenot, 3 and 11, respectively, and 7-year-old Hunter Johnson — were killed, as was Kimberly Stagg, 19, of Prairieville, who was riding in the front seat of the car.
A partially empty bottle of rum was found inside Leger's truck after the crash, and his blood alcohol level was 0.10 percent. A blood alcohol reading of 0.08 percent is considered presumptive evidence of drunken driving in Louisiana for those 21 and older.
A man's vehicular homicide conviction in a fiery 2011 road-rage related crash that killed five local residents on Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge…
East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorneys Christopher Casler and Ron Gathe argue in papers filed at the Supreme Court that the evidence proves Leger's operation of his truck while intoxicated "ultimately resulted in defendant losing control of his vehicle and colliding with the victims."
However, Leger's appellate lawyer, Rachel Conner, maintains there is no evidence of a causal relationship between his intoxication and the five fatalities.
Leger was convicted on five counts of vehicular homicide. Hall, who was not drinking, was found guilty at a separate trial on five counts of negligent homicide. She was sentenced to two years in prison but served less than a year behind bars.
There is no evidence that a St. Landry Parish man's intoxication was a contributing factor to a fiery 2011 interstate crash in Baton Rouge tha…