Vermilion

Jun 21, 2012 11:38 PM by Maddie Garrett

Abbeville Man Found Not Guilty On 5th DWI Offense

A disappointing outcome for prosecutors, as a five-time DWI offender is found not guilty. 48-year-old Steve Roy of Abbeville is already in jail, awaiting sentencing for a fourth offense DWI conviction. He faces at least 10 years in prison for that conviction. Wednesday would have been his fifth DWI, but a jury was not convinced and acquitted Roy.

That could be because 38-year-old Brian Vann, also of Abbeville, came forward for the first time Wednesday and said in court he was the driver of the vehicle the night Roy was arrested. State troopers arrested Vann Thursday evening and charged with him hit and run and reckless operation.

It's been over two years since the bizarre accident on an Abbeville golf course. A Sheriff's Deputy said he saw someone driving a pick up truck on the golf course and then crash into a tree. Seconds later, the deputy found Steve Roy hiding in the bushes, just a few feet away.

"He (the deputy) testified that he located only one set of foot prints from the driver's side of the vehicle and it led directly to Steve Roy who was hiding in the bushes," said Assistant District Attorney Stanton Hardee.

A State trooper arrived on scene to handle the incident. He testified that he smelled alcohol on Roy's breath, that he had slurred speech and blood shot eyes. But Roy refused all sobriety tests, including field tests, breathalizer, blood and urine tests.

"The defendant admitted to that he drank four beers, there was also an open bottle of Bud Light in the center console of the vehicle. But Steve Roy told the officers that a man named Conrad Faulk was driving the vehicle," explained Hardee.

Fast forward to this Wednesday, and a new face appeared in court for the defense, Brian Vann.

"This was the first time that this man came forward and stated under oath that he was the driver," said Hardee. "This was Brian Vann this was not Conrad Faulk."

The testimony was enough to sway the six person jury and Roy was not convicted of a 5th DWI.

"I would love to know from the jury, why they came up with the verdict that they did. I respect their verdict but I respectfully disagree with it," said Hardee.

Hardee said Roy's license was suspended at the time of the accident, in October 2010, and the truck involved in the accident was a rental. As for Vann, he remains in the Vermilion Parish Jail on $2,000 bond. State Police said he still maintains he was the driver

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