Chronic Drunk Driver Kills Child After 150 Arrests, Gets Five Years

Drunk driver Ricky Weeden was sentenced for his involvement in the death of a 4-year-old child, whom he reportedly struck with his car in October 2012.

The sentence understandably has people outraged, since it was the 56-year-old man’s 150th arrest and the sixth of his multiple DUI arrests.

According to KSDK.com, the deceased’s 10-year-old brother was also injured in the hit-and-run accident.

Still, despite the damage and the long history of disorderly conduct, Ricky Weeden was able to reach a plea deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, leaving the scene of a crash, and driving with a revoked license.

(The original charges included second-degree murder and assault.)

In addition to only getting five years, Weeden received credit from St. Louis County Circuit Judge Joseph Walsh III for the 20 months he’d already served while awaiting sentencing.

From the KSDK report:

The crash happened at about 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 5, 2012. Police say Weeden kept driving after he hit Traye-Shon and Jay’shard Williams with his GMC Sierra pick-up while they tried to cross St. Charles Rock Road.

Traye-Shon Williams died at the scene.

Police later found Weeden’s vehicle, and he was charged three days after the crash.

Weeden’s driver’s license was revoked in 1993. Records show that he was also involved in a 1983 crash that left two women dead.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the victim’s mother, Felicia Williams, was outraged. “Someone is laying in the cemetery dead and they will never get up and come home again. That’s enough evidence right there.”

The Post-Dispatch notes that the drunk driver’s record includes “at least 11 DWI arrests, including six that resulted in convictions.”

He had served fewer than two years in prison for his DUI arrests despite state laws that say chronic offenders with at least three DUI convictions could see up to 15 years in prison.

From the Post-Dispatch:

His record is an example of how DWI offenders routinely avoid felony charges in the St. Louis region through deals made in municipal courts, and where prosecutors and judges let persistent drunken drivers escape convictions.

The Missouri Highway Patrol investigated the incident that left Traye-shon dead and Jay’Shard injured as crossed St. Charles Rock Road on foot about 7:30 p.m. The patrol said Weeden kept driving after hitting the brothers with his GMC Sierra pickup. Traye-shon died at the scene. His brother suffered leg injuries.

Police later found Weeden’s truck and tied it to the crime. He was charged three days later.

Do you think this drunk driver, with his history of foulups, should have been given a harsher sentence? What would you have imposed?