CLINTON, Louisiana — A state district judge has resentenced a Greensburg man who pleaded guilty to killing seven people in a head-on collision last year.
Judge William G. Carmichael said the new sentence — 35 years instead of 70 — will result in approximately the same prison release dates for Brett G. Gerald as those in the original sentence.
Carmichael sentenced Gerald in March to serve seven consecutive 10-year sentences, specifying that five years of each 10-year sentence, or a total of 35 years, would be served without the possibility of probation or parole.
Seven days after Gerald's sentencing, however, The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/10Glhww ) the state Supreme Court ruled in a Morehouse Parish case that vehicular homicide is the type of violent crime for which state law requires a defendant to serve at least 85 percent of a sentence.
Carmichael resentenced Gerald on Tuesday to five years on each of the seven counts. The sentences are to run consecutively, which Carmichael said will result in Gerald having about the same parole eligibility and good-time release dates as he originally intended in his March sentencing order.
Under the high court's ruling, Gerald would have had to serve 85 percent of the original 70-year sentence, but Carmichael's action will require him to serve 85 percent of 35 years, or about 29 years and nine months.
Gerald is being held at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Corrections spokeswoman Pam Laborde said last week that Gerald's release date with parole supervision for good behavior was calculated for June 2040, or 28 years after he was jailed.
"Now that he's been resentenced, we'll have to recalculate based on the new sentencing minutes when we receive them from the court," Laborde said Tuesday.
Gerald's pickup collided May 30 with a car occupied by seven Baton Rouge residents returning home from Clinton church services. Killed immediately were Brenda Gaines, 64; Denise Gaines, 33; Diamond Johnson, 12; Jyran Johnson, 6; and Angela Matthews Mosely, 36.
Two other passengers, Willie Gaines Jr., 15, and Rogerick Johnson Jr., 13, also of Baton Rouge, died several days later.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com