Kentwood man sentenced to 10 years in 2012 fatal crash

A 52-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after pleading no contest to hitting and killing a motorcycle driver on La. 38 near the Tangipahoa-St. Helena parish line, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Monday.

Judge Bruce Bennett sentenced Robert Morris, of Avenue K, Kentwood, on Feb. 11 after Morris pleaded no contest Jan. 15 to a charge of vehicular homicide, the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Morris was arrested Nov. 10, 2012, after killing Elmus H. Welch, 70, of Kentwood, in the crash, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Morris was driving east on La. 38 when he ran off the road, the District Attorney’s Office said. He tried to drive back onto the highway but overcorrected, causing his vehicle to spin into the westbound lane.

Morris collided head-on with Welch’s motorcycle, the District Attorney’s Office said.

Welch was pronounced dead at the scene.

Investigators later determined that blood samples from Morris showed he had been driving under the influence of alcohol, the District Attorney’s Office said.

At least five years of the 10-year sentence must be served without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence, the District Attorney’s Office said.