RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man has been sentenced to a year of work release for driving under the influence of marijuana during a crash that killed his then-girlfriend’s 5-year-old son.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported on Tuesday that Datron L. Pierce, 23, pleaded no contest to a DUI charge in Chesterfield County. He did so in exchange for charges being dropped for aggravated DUI manslaughter, possession of marijuana and driving on a suspended license.
Prosecutors said they didn’t have enough evidence to try Pierce on the manslaughter count. They said they had no witnesses who could reinforce Pierce’s level of impairment. He did not take a field sobriety test because he was injured and taken to the hospital.
The boy who died was Bryan Cameron Hughes Jr. He was sitting in a child seat in the rear of the vehicle when the crash occurred.
Pierce admitted to having smoked marijuana at about noon that day. A hospital drug test showed he had between 0.014 and 0.004 milligrams of THC per liter of blood. The levels were consistent with having ingested marijuana within a four-hour time frame.
Defense attorney Bill Linka asked that Pierce be allowed to serve his 12-month sentence on work release. Chesterfield Circuit Judge Lynn Brice granted the request and ordered him to report to jail next month.