Cyclist: Drunk driver Branch 'ruined my life'
BATON ROUGE - The surviving cyclist from a deadly 2012 crash told a Baton Rouge judge Wednesday that the man who killed his friend also "completely ruined" the survivor's life.
Daniel Morris made the comments in a victim impact statement as part of sentencing proceedings for Joseph Branch. In 2014 Branch was convicted of vehicular homicide and negligent injuring for the wreck on Perkins Road which killed Nathan Crowson and injured Morris. Investigators determined Branch had a blood alcohol content nearly four times the legal limit at the time of the wreck.
Morris was allowed to make the comments because he flew in from California for sentencing, but now he hopes to make it back for sentencing next month.
"I'd come back, I'd love to see him go away for a long time, I want him to see me smiling real big," said Morris.
Morris told Judge Mike Erwin he spent a month in the hospital after the wreck, which shattered his pelvis. Morris said he has memory problems which prevent him from remembering details prior to the crash on his own.
"Joseph Branch has completely ruined my life," Morris told the judge. "Branch was smiling as he left the court, because his lawyer thought they got a win, but whatever, same thing, nothing's different."
Nathan Crowson's brother, Matthew, spoke outside of court, bewildered at the motions that delayed sentencing.
"I don't understand how someone can be so remorseless, and repeatedly day after day bring Danny and all of us back and have to face him and have to face him being so smug and he has no intention of taking responsibility for any of this and keeps dragging us though this, I don't understand how a person could do that," said Crowson.
Actual sentencing for Branch was pushed back to March 18 because of motions for a new trial which were filed by Branch's new defense team, then withdrawn Wednesday morning. Branch faces up to 30 years in prison for his conviction.
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