Lafayette man pleads guilty to vehicular homicide on eve of trial

A drunken driver who ran a traffic light a year ago in Lafayette and killed an Alabama man has pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, officials said.

Casey Robertson, 27, changed his plea Monday minutes before jury selection was to begin in his trial, Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson said in an emailed news release.

Robertson, drunk and in possession of a suspended driver’s license, was driving south on Evangeline Thruway when he ran a red light at the East Kaliste Saloom Road intersection.

Robertson’s Ford truck plowed into a Chevrolet that was turning onto the thruway from Kaliste Saloom Road.

The driver of the Chevrolet, Travis Baker, 61, from Alabama, was killed on impact in the crash that occurred at 1:45 a.m. March 15, 2013.

After the crash, Robertson’s blood-alcohol level registered 0.20, more than twice the 0.08 level that Louisiana law requires to charge an adult with drunken driving.

Harson’s office charged Robertson in a May 17 bill of information with vehicular homicide, driving through a stop light, driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under suspension.

Robertson pleaded not guilty in June, then changed his plea Monday to guilty in the vehicular homicide charge.

Judge Edward Rubin, of the 15th Judicial District, ordered a presentence investigation. Rubin did not set a date for sentencing.

Robertson faces five years to 30 years in prison at hard labor.

Assistant District Attorney J.N. Prather prosecuted the case.