NEW ORLEANS — The man accused of drunk driving and killing two bike riders on Esplanade Avenue during Mardi Gras appeared in court for a discovery hearing Friday.
During the hearing, 32-year-old Tashonty Toney chose to have a judge trial instead of a jury trial.
On May 1, a Louisiana grand jury indicted Toney on vehicular homicide and other charges stemming from the March crash -- in total, a 16-count indictment.
The deaths and injuries occurred March 2 near the route of one of the city's biggest parades - Endymion. Police said Toney plowed through an occupied bike lane while speeding.
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Because Toney's blood alcohol level was estimated at .215 at the time of the crash, he is being charged with a crime of violence, meaning that he would have to serve at least 75 percent of his sentence on the two deaths.
He faces two vehicular homicide counts, seven counts involving the injuries and seven hit-and-run counts involving other damaged vehicles.
The trial will begin on August 26.