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
After reading the sentence, the judge asked LePine if he
"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
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
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.