Posted: Dec 10, 2012 4:27 PM by Chris Nakamoto
Updated: Dec 10, 2012 7:01 PM
CLINTON- Brett Gerald changed his "not guilty" plea to a "guilty" plea moments before his trial was scheduled to begin in East Feliciana Parish today.
It happened in front of a packed courtroom. Family members of seven victims who were killed during the May drunk driving crash were in court. Gerald's family members were also present.
John Gaines Senior lost six of his loved ones in the crash.
"Our main thing is not to be vengeful," Gaines said. "All we want is fair justice."
"I forgive him," Otis Mosely said. "I do want him to know that. I do forgive him because I have a forgiving heart."
Mosely lost his wife in the crash. Prosecutors said Gerald was more than twice the legal limit at the time of the crash. It was his fourth DWI arrest.
"We investigated completely and used very experienced experts," Defense lawyer Tommy D'Amico said. "After I got the reports in a couple weeks ago, we determined the accident happened as was alleged."
D'Amico said Gerald wanted to take responsibility for his actions.
"He did not want to put victims family and his own family through a trial," D'Amico said. "As a result he took those actions."
A pre-sentence report is being conducted. Formal sentencing is set for March. The counts carry a five year minimum sentence on each count, but the Judge can run those concurrently.
"We're going to request he gets the maximum, but that's strictly up to the Judge," East Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla said.