Louisiana man sentenced to 28 years for fatal DUI crash

Posted 12/17/21

A Louisiana man was sentenced to 28 years in prison after being convicted of DUI manslaughter for a 2018 accident ...

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Louisiana man sentenced to 28 years for fatal DUI crash

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MOORE HAVEN – A Louisiana man was sentenced to 28 years in prison after being convicted of DUI manslaughter for a 2018 accident which claimed two lives. The sentencing hearing was Dec. 16 in the Glades County Courthouse.

Benjamin Joseph Desjardine, 43, was found guilty following a trial in November of his year.

On Jan. 4, 2018, at 11 p.m. Desjardine  was driving a 2005 Dodge Ram truck on County Road 721. According to the FHP report, he drove in the wrong lane into oncoming traffic. A driver who swerved to avoid the truck hit a guardrail. Desjardine’s truck hit a  Hyundai Sonata.  The driver and the passenger of the Hyndai, a 55-year-old man and a 71-year-old man, were killed.

A 20-year-old woman who was not involved in the initial crash stopped to help and got out of her car. Another driver swerved to avoid the crashed Hyndai and that vehicle struck the woman, seriously injuring her.

According to the FHP report, at the time of the accident Desjardine’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

On Count 1, DUI Manslaughter, Desjardine was sentenced to 14 years in prison, with 4 years as a minimum mandatory, plus one year of probation after incarceration. The judge ordered permanent revocation of his driver’s license. He must also attend a DUI school, do 50 hours of community service and pay court costs and the cost of prosecution. As a condition of his probation he is not allowed to consume alcohol.

On Count 2, DUI Manslaughter, Desjardine received the same sentence as Count 1, to be served consecutively.

On Counts 3-5, DUI Damage – Person/Property, Desjardine was sentenced to one year of probation on each count to run concurrent to the probation on Counts 1 and 2.

Assistant State Attorney Mara Marzano of the State Attorney’s Office Homicide Unit and Assistant State Attorney William Dorman III, Felony Chief of the Hendry and Glades County offices, prosecuted the case.

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