Foch won't face felony charges - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Foch won't face felony charges

Major legal developments in a case that grabbed headlines in Calcasieu Parish. A grand jury has decided not indict a deputy on felony charges in connection with an accident that caused two people to die.

Instead Joshua Foch has been charged with misdemeanor DWI and reckless operation.  Investigators ultimately found the fatal crash was apparently caused by one of the two people who died.

Foch was 20 years old when, on a December night out with three friends, he was allegedly driving while drunk and lost control of his car. Passenger Jerica Devillier was severely injured and died hours after the accident. Deputy Jared Malone survived, but died days later. Foch and another passenger survived.

And while it appeared Foch would face charges for vehicular or negligent homicide the grand jury has decided no. District Attorney John DeRosier says the investigation concluded the crash occurred when passenger Malone jerked the steering wheel and caused the accident.  DeRosier explains, "One of the passengers in the back seat, Mr. Malone, actually grabbed the steering wheel and caused the vehicle to careen to the right side of the road striking the guard rail and precipitating the cause of the accident."

DeRosier says both Foch and his surviving passenger took  lie detector tests on the issue of Malone jerking the wheel. "Both of those individuals passed the polygraph," he says. Plus he says three deputies who are friends of Malone gave statements saying they had seen him grab the steering wheel of a moving car other times. DeRosier explains, "The best friend of Mr. Malone, lifelong friend, testified by written statement a couple weeks ago that Mr. Malone had done this on numerous occasions while he was driving the vehicle."

 DeRosier says the tragedy is a grim reminder of how important it is to act responsibly in a moving vehicle. Foch was indicted for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and reckless operation. If convicted of DWI and reckless operation Foch could get up to nine months in jail and pay fines. A spokesperson for Sheriff's Tony Mancuso says Foch will not get his job back with the sheriff's office...

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