Family of mother and son killed in car crash speak to impaired driver who killed them
The family of a young mother and her son who were killed in a March 2018 crash on Broadway Avenue in Alexandria shared a heart-wrenching victim impact statement on Monday as the impaired driver who killed them was sentenced.
John Scott, 44 of Alexandria, changed his plea to "guilty" in October to two counts of vehicular homicide and a single count of first degree vehicular negligent injuring. He will receive 15 years in prison for each count of vehicular homicide and five years for first degree vehicular negligent injuring. The sentence will run concurrent. The Rapides Parish District Attorney's Office dismissed charges of reckless operation, driving under suspension, running a red light, and possession of marijuana.
On March 30, 2018, the Alexandria Police Department responded to a crash on Broadway Avenue in which Darlicia Smith, 27, and her son, M'Kye, 6, were killed. Samples were sent for analysis for suspected DWI the following month and several days later came up positive. Police learned that Scott left for California during that time, and in May 2018, through his attorney, he made arrangements to return to Louisiana.
Before he was formally sentenced on Monday, Smith's mother and M'Kye's grandmother, Fellicia Winbush, tearfully told the court how the loss has impacted her family.
"I'm here, but they were supposed to be," she said. "They were just trying to get home."
Winbush had a strong message for Scott, who had a blood alcohol concentration of .189 the night of the crash.
"Don't drink and drive," she told him. "Darlicia didn't. [...] You didn't care. You killed Darlicia and M'Kye. It happened to us. It could happen to anybody."
Winbush said she continues "praying to keep my sanity" as she raises her granddaughter who now has no mother. Later, another family member told Scott that his "habit didn't have to take someone's life."
Scott did not offer an apology to the family and did not make any public comments to the court when given the opportunity. He was represented by Michael Brewer. The case was prosecuted by Kelvin Sanders.