Man pleads guilty to drunk-driving wreck that killed NOPD officer

Published: May. 29, 2018 at 8:58 PM CDT|Updated: May. 30, 2018 at 12:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A drunk driver who plowed into a police vehicle in 2016, fatally injuring New Orleans police officer Natasha Hunter was convicted Tuesday.

Chau Thai Nguyen, 35, pleaded guilty as charged to one count of vehicular homicide. Nguyen faces a sentence of 5 to 30 years in state prison when sentenced by Criminal District Judge Ben Willard.

The judge did not immediately set a sentencing date, but ordered a pre-sentencing investigation to be completed by Aug. 3.

Nguyen's blood-alcohol concentration measured at 0.16 after he crashed his Acura sedan into the back of Hunter's police-marked SUV around 2:30 a.m. on June 5, 2016.

Hunter had parked her vehicle with emergency lights flashing on the shoulder of Interstate 10 near Esplanade Avenue while investigating an earlier traffic accident.

State law requires that a person convicted of vehicular homicide from an incident in which their BAC registered at 0.15 or higher must serve at least five years without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.

Hunter, 32, was an 11-year veteran of the NOPD and the mother of a 5-year-old daughter when she was injured in the line of duty.

Hunter sustained serious head injuries and died two days after the crash.

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