Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Chief
HAMMOND, La. -- A 22-year-old Hammond man was sentenced to 12 years in prison Tuesday in connection with the hit and run deaths of three people in March 2009.
Tangipahoa District Judge Doug Hughes handed Derek Quebedeaux that sentence around 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The sentence included 12 years for each of three counts of vehicular homicide, for the deaths of Maxime Profit, Beth Boudreaux and Rion Lowe, five years for each of two counts of Vehicular Negligent Injury, and ten years for hit and run. All those sentences will run concurrently, which means Quebedeaux will serve 12 years in prison.
"It's a legal sentence and we respect it," Tangipahoa Parish District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said, "but we thought somewhere between the 15 to 20 year range would have been more appropriate in light of three fatalities and a serious injury, and the families felt the same way."
"I'm very disappointed in the sentence that was handed down today," said Brenda Sinclair of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "Three people lost their lives."
The sentence came after a full hour of victim's impact statements were heard in court. Several members of Maxime Profit's family came from France, and they asked Judge Hughes for a 20 year prison sentence.
Afterward, Profit's parents chose not to talk to the media, but their attorney spoke briefly.
"People know that a 12-year sentence means six years actually behind bars," Christian Goudeau said. "That's barely two years per human life. It's a bitter disappointment to them."
Lindsey Prima described her cousin and best friend Beth Boudreau of Loranger as "an angel here on earth."
After the victim's impact statements were read, Derek Quebedeaux addressed the court for roughly two minutes.
First, he told Judge Doug Hughes, "I wish I could take back that day. I think about it every day. I made a mistake. I lost two of my best friends and I see their faces everytime I close my eyes."
Addressing the families of the victims, Quebedeaux said, "There's not much I can say to make things right and I hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me someday."
Then, at the end of his statement, Quebedeaux turned to the packed courthouse, visibly crying, and said, "I really am sorry."
"Derek has shown extreme remorse since the first day I met him" said Quebedeaux's attorney Michael Thiel. "He's been devastated by this and I think there was actual truth and genuineness in his statement."
After the sentence was handed down, Derek Quebedeaux was immediately taken away to the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.
The State Department of Corrections will make the call on where Quebedeaux will serve his time, but his attorney Michael Thiel said he did not believe it would be at Angola.