Guilty plea in Vinton DWI fatal crash

Guilty plea in Vinton DWI fatal crash
March 10, 2011: Hwy 90, just east of Vinton
March 10, 2011: Hwy 90, just east of Vinton

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A Sulphur man has pleaded guilty in a deadly DWI crash in Vinton. According to the Calcasieu District Attorney's Office 49-year-old Raymond Armentor pleaded guilty Tuesday morning for his involvement in the deaths of 45-year-old Brian Holland and 47-year-old Rebecca Leboeuf - both of Sulphur.

Louisiana State Police arrested Armentor after he crossed the center line on Highway 90 just east of Vinton and hit Holland's minivan head on March 10, 2010. Leboeuf was Armentor's passenger. Toxicology tests revealed impairment. Armentor was sentenced to 30 years for each count of vehicular homicide and will serve the sentence concurrently with the 12 years he was serving for his probation violation.  At the time of the accident Armentor was on probation for three counts of DWI 3rd offense.

In court Tuesday, Holland's mother spoke directly to Armentor and said she forgave him but he needed to serve his time.

"She acknowledged that she didn't believe he got into his vehicle that morning planning to cause death to any individuals, but she did feel that justice was deserved or needed to be served in this case because he made a conscious decision to get into a vehicle knowing that he was under the influence of certain drugs," said Tara Hawkins, Calcasieu Assistant District Attorney.

Armentor also spoke to the court and apologized for his decision to get behind the wheel that morning.

"There were tears all around. It's a loss for both sides. And actually spoke to the family and asked for their forgiveness for their actions. I believe he said if he could take it back he would. But of course he can't and he just wanted to take responsibility for what he had done," said Hawkins.

Hawkins said she hopes this serves as an example to the public at large and that they will seek justice in cases like this.

"People may not understand that when they make decisions to drink or take other intoxicating substances and get in a vehicle that they truly are taking a chance with their lives and with the lives of other individuals. And as a representative of the State we have an obligation to hold people accountable. Hopefully others can learn from what happened in this case," said Hawkins.

Armentor has to serve at least 80% of his sentence before he is eligible for parole.

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