Tue, Mar 12, 2013
A state district judge sentenced Brett G. Gerald Tuesday to 70 years in prison for killing seven people in a head-on collision May 30 in East Feliciana Parish when driving drunk accprding to The Advocate
Gerald, who pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in December, was also fined $14,000.
Gerald, 30, struggled through sobs while addressing the family and said he was deeply sorry for their loss and his thoughts and prayers go out to the families.
“I trust in God that he will heal your pain because I know I cannot,” Gerald told the family.
Twentieth Judicial District Judge William G. Carmichael said Gerald’s conduct “caused the deaths of seven human beings and the devastation of several families including your own.”
Gerald, who lived in Greensburg, pleaded guilty in December to the seven counts of vehicular homicide for which he was charged after his pickup truck collided with a car occupied by Baton Rouge residents returning home from Clinton church services.
Five people in the 1996 Mercury Grand Marquis driving on La. 67 about a mile south of the Comite River died instantly in the collision with Gerald’s 2007 Dodge pickup: the driver, Brenda Gaines, 64; Denise Gaines, 33; Diamond Johnson, 12; Jyran Johnson, 6; and Angela Matthews Mosely, 36.
Two other passengers, Willie Gaines Jr., 15, and Rogerick Johnson Jr., 13, also of Baton Rouge, died several days later.
All but Mosely were members of the same extended family.
As a result of the pleas, Gerald faced five- to 30-year prison sentences on each count and possible fines ranging from $2,000 to $15,000 per count.
A state trooper who investigated the crash testified earlier that an analysis of a blood sample taken at Lane Regional Medical Center showed Gerald’s blood-alcohol content was 0.15 percent.
In Louisiana, a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent is considered presumptive evidence of drunken driving. Gerald had three other DWI arrests before the crash and one conviction.