Impaired driver gets 90 years in jail for Endymion night crash that killed bicyclists

Updated: Oct. 29, 2019 at 1:33 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Tashonty Toney, the man who drove drunk injuring several bicyclists and killing two others on Esplanade Avenue, was sentenced to 90 years behind bars.

Judge Laurie White sentenced Toney Tuesday.

Toney received 30 years for each of the two counts of vehicular homicide.

He also received five years a piece for six counts of vehicular negligent injury.

The sentence also includes six months each for seven counts of hit-and-run. That will run concurrently.

Tashonty Toney pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of vehicular homicide.

Last week, he pleaded guilty to 14 counts of negligent injuring and hit and run driving in connection with the crash.

27-year-old Sharee Walls of New Orleans and 31-year-old David Hynes of Seattle died March 2, 2018 shortly after the Endymion parade. Toney crashed his his black 2018 Camaro into the neutral ground striking the bicyclists.

Toney was set to go on trial Monday for those vehicular homicide charges, but decided to plead guilty at the start of the judge trial.

Toney’s blood alcohol content was high enough to make the crash a crime of violence.

Last week, he pleaded guilty to 14 counts of negligent injuring and hit and run driving in connection with the crash.

The families of those that were injured and killed packed the courtroom prepared to give victim impact statements. Many family member off those who died broke down when talking about the loss of their loved ones.

Sharee Walls’ mother said today is not about forgiveness, but about justice. She wants Toney to receive the maximum penalty.

“To die in this manner...coming all the way down from Chicago. She was raised in Chicago. Went to school at UPenn, found a calling here, committed her whole life to the city of New Orleans and to die at Mardi Gras that she loved so much. It’s insane. Everybody’s reeling,” said Lois Benjamin, mother of Sharee Walls.

“And what we’re dealing with is a young man and issue of misguidance and foolishness, took two lives. We’ve come here from all over the country and folks in New Orleans, I hope you understand, we’re asking for justice. I think the judge has heard the impact statement and we are simply asking for justice in this case,” says Charles Williams.

Vehicular homicide carries a sentence of 5 to 30 years in state prison. When two or more victims are killed in the same incident, state law mandates that the vehicular homicide sentence imposed for each victim must be served consecutive to each other, not concurrently.

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