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Appeal for reduced sentence outrages victims' family

1 year ago Wednesday, June 19, 2013 2:44:49 PM CDT June 19, 2013 Wednesday, June 19 2013 Jun 19, 2013 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- The attorney representing convicted killer Brett Gerald wants his sentence reduced.

Tommy D'Amico is filing an appeal with the First Circuit Court of Appeals, calling his client's 35-year sentence for seven counts of vehicular homicide excessive. He believes Gerald's sentence for each count shouldn't run consecutively.

"In Louisiana the law favors concurrent sentences as opposed to consecutive sentences when there is a single transaction crime," D'Amico said. "In this situation, unfortunately there were seven victims, but it was a single transaction crime. Based on that, we believe the court should have given concurrent as opposed to consecutive sentence."

Gerald killed seven people last year while driving drunk in East Feliciana Parish. It was Gerald's fourth DWI arrest. He pleaded guilty in December and was sentenced this year.

Last month Judge William Carmichael reduced Gerald's sentence from 70 years to 35 years to comply with a recent Supreme Court ruling in a different vehicular homicide case.

The victims' family members are outraged at the idea his sentence could be reduced further.

"We feel the re-sentencing itself was unfair," John Gaines Jr. said. "It's like a nightmare. Words can't even begin to describe the emotion and pain my family is going through."

The family said they are exploring all of their options, and will continue fighting.

"We're not going to stop, bend, break or fold until justice is served," Marcus Gaines said.

D'Amico said if the First Circuit Court of Appeals denies his appeal, he'll take it to the State Supreme Court.

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