Prosecution Says Solid Case Led to Convictions

Neshoba County, Miss. The Choctaw community was devastated last December when a car wreck claimed the lives of 5 children and one adult. The driver of that car, Duane John, was arrested after being discharged from the hospital when authorities found out he had been driving under the influence. Neshoba County District Attorney, Mark Duncan, says after the investigation, the case was turned over to a Grand Jury earlier this year.

"They decide whether or not an indictment, or formal charges, are brought, and of course in this case they returned an indictment of 6 counts of DUI Manslaughter."

John's trial was moved to Lafayette County at his request and only lasted a day and a half due to the overwhelming incriminating evidence against him including testimony from both a witness and the accident re-constructionist who determined the wreck was his fault, and two statements he gave the Neshoba County Sheriff's Department, but that's only part of it.

"There was a blood sample taken from him at the Neshoba County Hospital, and he was more than twice the legal limit in his blood alcohol content. There were also survivors in the vehicle, one of which testified in the case."

Duncan says that he's seen quite a few DUI Manslaughter cases during his time as District Attorney, but

"Never one in resulted in 6 people being killed, and never any case where we had this many deceased victims."

The maximum sentence per charge is 25 years, John received 15 years per count for a total of 90, with 15 of those suspended. He is now in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections which will decide where he completes his sentence.


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