Cleveland Brown wide receiver Donte Stallworth just hit the mother load of of plea deals by getting a thirty day jail sentence after being charged with DUI Manslaughter. It was alleged that on March 14, 2009 Mario Reyes was running across the street to catch a bus when he was struck and killed by a car being driven by Stallworth. According to reports the sentence was nine years and eleven months shorter than the average sentence in Florida for the same crime. Apparently Stallworth’s cooperation with authorities after the accident and an undisclosed settlement agreement with the victim’s family factored heavily into this decision. Stallworth apologized to the victim’s family at his sentencing at which he also received a lifetime loss of license. After his release from custody Stallworth will be on house arrest for two years and he will be on probation for eight years. He was ordered to pay fines of ten thousand dollars and he will have to perform one thousand hours of community service.
There are very few circumstances in which you would see a deal like this in Massachusetts. OUI Manslaughter is a relatively new crime in Massachusetts enacted a few years ago under Melanie’s Law. OUI Manslaughter in Massachusetts carries a minimum mandatory five year state prison sentence. Massachusetts Laws do provide for work release programs for people convicted under this statute however this cannot happen without the recommendation of the prison superintendent and under the supervision of an officer of the prison in which the defendant is incarcerated. See Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 265 Section 13 1/2. Motor Vehicle Homicide OUI violations can in some circumstances provide for a lighter sentence however rarely if ever will the sentence of incarceration be thirty days. The only time when this might happen is when the district attorney’s case in tenuous. For example, in this case if it could reasonably be argued that Reyes actions were the actual cause of the accident and the prosecution’s case was weakened due to that fact you might see a sentence imposed that undercuts the average for these cases. Again, thirty days is not likely. There is no doubt that Stallworth’s lawyer did a great job for him.
Attorney Stephen Neyman has been successfully defending OUI Cases in Massachusetts as well as Motor Vehicle Homicide and Manslaughter cases for over twenty years. Call us now if you have been charged with one of these offenses. We can be reached at 617-263-6800 or you can contact us online.