Man get 20 years in DUI crash that killed four, including 2 infants - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Picayune

Man get 20 years in DUI crash that killed four, including 2 infants

Charles LePine has been sentenced to 20

years for killing four people, including two infants, in a drunk

driving accident that happened on the way back from a Mardi Gras

parade in 2003.

Circuit Court Judge Prentiss Harrell on Friday ordered LePine,

46, to spend 15 years in prison and the other five years in post

release custody.

After reading the sentence, the judge asked LePine if he

understood.

"I guess I have to," LePine said. "All I have to say is I

didn't mean for it to happen."

The accident happened on Feb. 22, 2003, when LePine and nine

other people piled into a station wagon and went to Mardi Gras in

Louisiana.

They were headed home when LePines vehicle left Mississippi 43

South in Pearl River County. According to police, the vehicle ran

into a ditch, hit a culvert and flipped.

Among the passengers killed was Lepine's 7 1/2-month-old son,

Lance. The others killed were Kenneth Verrett, 31, 2-month-old

Kenneth Verrett Jr. and Frank Verrett, 29.

LePine and the other five passengers survived with various

injuries.

Blood alcohol tests taken two hours after the accident showed

LePine had a blood alcohol level of 0.09 percent. Drivers in

Mississippi are considered under the influence with a blood alcohol

level of 0.08 percent or higher.

Mississippi Crime Lab toxicologist Wendy Hathcock, who conducted

the test on LePines blood, testified that the human body begins to

metabolize alcohol in the elimination stage at an average rate of

0.02 percent for every hour, according to a www.picayuneitem.com

article. His blood alcohol level was likely even higher at the time

of the accident.

The jury found Lepine guilty of aggravated DUI on Aug. 24. He

was acquitted on charges of assaulting a law enforcement officer.

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