GRETNA, Louisiana — A 32-year-old Marrero man faces 5 to 30 years in prison after being convicted of driving drunk in a wreck that killed his 1-year-old son.
Jeremiah Price was convicted Friday of vehicular homicide in the death of Jashawn Price, The New Orleans Advocate (http://bit.ly/1MpjuXi) reported.
Authorities said the toddler was not in a safety seat when his father's car hit the back of a construction vehicle on a section of the West Bank Expressway that had been closed to install signs.
Traffic had been diverted from the expressway to the adjacent, ground-level roadway, but authorities said Price ignored multiple closure signs and plowed through barrels blocking the work area.
Police determined Price's blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit of 0.08 when the accident occurred the morning of Oct. 21, 2013.
Jurors deliberated a little more than an hour before finding Price guilty of vehicular homicide.
In a separate but related verdict Friday, Judge E. Adrian Adams ruled that Price also was guilty of three traffic charges: failure to properly restrain a child passenger, not wearing a seat belt and disobeying a traffic control device.
Adams scheduled sentencing Aug. 26.
Defense attorney Eddie Jordan could not be reached for comment Friday.
Price testified in his own defense prior to both verdicts, arguing in part that the work zone was poorly lit and that he had buckled Jashawn in the middle of the back seat. He admitted drinking but denied that alcohol was a factor in the wreck.
Information from: The New Orleans Advocate, http://www.neworleansadvocate.com