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Man accused of New Year's day crash that claimed life of Walker High senior pleads not guilty in court

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LIVINGSTON - The man accused of the New Year's Day crash that claimed the life of 17-year-old Blakeleigh Weems pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday.

Weems family says Shawn Robertson has shown no remorse for his actions.

"His actions have led to the un-timely death of our daughter and we'll have to live with that hurt and that grief for the rest of our lives," Nelson Weems, Blakeleigh's father, said.

The Weems family says this has been a long time coming. Robertson was not arrested in the crash for more than two months. 

After the wreck, Robertson had a blood-alcohol-content of .09, which is .01 over the legal limit to drive. He also tested positive for marijuana. 

"How would anyone feel to watch the perpetrator in their daughter's death sit back and get to enjoy his freedom for three months. He shouldn't have had an ounce of freedom after that day," Kimberly Cantrelle, a family friend, said.

Robertson was originally arrested on negligent homicide, which comes with a maximum prison sentence of five years. The DA's office upgraded the charge to vehicular homicide, which comes with a minimum of five years and a maximum of thirty.

Robertson also faces charges for a second-offense DWI, reckless operation of a vehicle, driving under suspension, diving without a seatbelt and possession of drug paraphernalia.

People leaving the courthouse with Robertson on Wednesday say that he's not guilty of the charges.

The Weems family says they believe the Denham Springs Police Department did not properly handle the investigation and are puzzled why Robertson was allowed to leave the scene.

"Never, not once, have they come out publicly and said 'We insinuated and we pushed this belief that Blakeleigh was this irresponsible teen when the irresponsibility was on an adult male who has not only done this once, but twice.' He had an opportunity the first time he was caught to learn a lesson and unfortunately no lesson was learned and he did it a second time," Cantrelle said.

The family says they hope that justice will be served.

"It's very hurtful when you get behind a wheel and you are drinking and other things. You're guilty no matter what," Chasity Johnstone, Blakeleigh's mother, said.

Robertson hired Baton Rouge criminal attorney, Neal Wilkinson, to handle his case. He is set for another hearing in July.


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