It’s been nearly two years since a poor decision at a party turned deadly, and now a young man will see jail time.
Judge Robert Heinrichs sentenced a 19-year-old man to 80 days in custody at a youth facility followed by 40 days of community supervision Thursday after he pled guilty to impaired driving causing death.
Judge Heinrichs ordered a publication ban on the case, prohibiting media outlets from naming the driver or the person who died.
According to court records, a group of five teens left a gathering in Dufresne on Oct. 16, 2016, including the then-17-year-old who got behind the wheel impaired by alcohol-spiked iced teas and a bit of weed.
A number of his friends tried to stop him from driving, but he left in the early hours, taking a passenger with him.
Another car with three other young men followed.
At some point, the 17-year-old tried to pass the car ahead of him. He sped up, lost control and ended up rolling the car.
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The driver was pulled from the wreckage by one of his friends in another car. But the 17-year-old passenger didn’t have a pulse.
The teen driver pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death earlier this year.
Since the crash, he’s quit drinking and smoking weed. He attends church, has a job and volunteers regularly, according to the court.
By all accounts, it was an out-of-character decision that ended his friend’s life, Judge Heinrichs said.
“He’s a better person now than he was then,” Judge Heinrichs said of the teen, noting he is at a very low risk to re-offend.
The teen is also also banned from driving for 3.5 years.