State starts appeal in negligent homicide case

Advocate staff file photo by ADAM LAU -- Stanley White, right stands by as attorney Steven Moore speaks during a hearing at the Ascension Parish Courthouse in May 2013.  A state appeals court  ordered on Monday that White serve his original two-year prison sentence.
Advocate staff file photo by ADAM LAU -- Stanley White, right stands by as attorney Steven Moore speaks during a hearing at the Ascension Parish Courthouse in May 2013. A state appeals court ordered on Monday that White serve his original two-year prison sentence.

Sentence stayed inĀ 1994 case

The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office on Monday started its appeal of a judge’s decision earlier this month to suspend Donaldsonville resident Stanley White’s two-year sentence in the 1994 negligent homicide death of 10-week-old Brittany Deville of St. Amant.

The state filed a motion for appeal and a motion to supplement the record, requesting a transcript of the May 3 hearing that led to 33rd Judicial District Court Judge Jessie LeBlanc’s decision.

After receiving the transcript, the state then will file its appeal with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal.

Kurt Wall, director of the state Attorney General’s Criminal Division, said it could be three months or longer before the two sides have a hearing before the appellate court.

White was 19 when his vehicle collided with a car carrying Brittany’s family on Airline Highway near Gonzales on July 31, 1994. The infant, who was unrestrained, was ejected and later died. White had a blood-alcohol content of 0.09 percent, which at the time was lower than the state’s threshhold for presumptive drunken driving.

White originally was booked on driving while intoxicated, which was dropped, but later charged with vehicular homicide. He pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in July 1995 and was sentenced to two years.

After an appeals court upheld his sentence, however, White wasn’t taken into custody nor did he serve time.

LeBlanc ruled that too much time had passed to enforce White’s sentence, so she suspended it and ordered him to serve two years of supervised probation. That sentence has been stayed pending the appeal.

White’s attorney, Steven Moore, said his client is ready to begin his probation and start to pay his punishment.

“This thing’s been going on 17 years, and they’re now asking that it be prolonged any further,” Moore said. “No matter what happens to Stanley White, the little girl’s never coming back. It can’t get done. We need to get moving so both sides can get it done.”

Wall said the state didn’t want White’s probation to keep him out of prison later.

“In the event that we’re successful in our appeal, we didn’t want the defendant to be given credit for any time that the court may have put him on probation,” Wall said.

In his argument that White shouldn’t be sent to prison, Moore said his client never tried to evade capture, had never been arrested again and had become a productive member of society.

However, the state’s motion to supplement the record says White received a California driver’s license in 2002 and sought a real estate certificate and teaching license in 2004 and 2009. In addition, the motion reads, White was listed as being a resident of Riverside, Calif., in his father’s 2009 obituary.