GONZALES (AP) — More than 16 years after having his sentence for negligent homicide confirmed by an appeals court, Stanley White remains a free man.
The Advocate reported state Judge Jessie LeBlanc suspended White's two-year sentence on Friday, placing him on two years of probation in the 1994 death of 10-week-old Brittany Deville.
White was a 19-year-old Donaldsonville resident when his vehicle collided with a car carrying Deville's family on July 31, 1994. Deville was unrestrained and was ejected from the vehicle. She later died from her injuries.
White pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in July 1995 and was sentenced to two years in prison. After having his sentence upheld by an appeals court, however, he was never taken into custody and didn't serve his sentence.
LeBlanc ruled that enforcing the sentence now would be an "inordinate delay" that would violate "the fundamental principles of liberty and justice."
Prosecutors David Weilbaecher and Kurt Wall with the state's Attorney General's Office objected to LeBlanc's ruling and said they planned to file an appeal with the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals.
"There's no question somewhere about 17 years ago the judicial system let this family down," Wall said.
Rachel Deville, the infant's mother, said she was frustrated by Friday's ruling but was determined to continue seeking justice for her daughter.
"It's heartbreaking that someone in this courthouse just won't give us justice, so we'll move on."
White declined to comment on Friday's ruling through his attorney, Steven Moore.