Mar 8, 2012 7:20 PM by Shawn Kline
Did the Jeff Davis Parish D.A. and a former Ville Platte football coach strike a plea deal following a fatal crash?
Tests showed high levels of THC, the active ingredient found in marijuana, in Coach Roy Serie's system after a head-on crash back in 2010 that killed Serie's wife and Shannon Cox of Lake Charles.
On Wednesday, Serie pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and sentenced to a ten-year term but KATC learned the case was put off so Serie could start earning retirement from the Evangeline Parish School Board before going to jail.
"There's nothing I can say or do that's going to change what has happened," Serie said at his sentencing. "I made a mistake and there's consequences for it."
The case lasted almost two-years and District Attorney Michael Cassidy says Serie was set to go to trial three or four times.
According to a correspondence between Cassidy and Serie's Attorney Eric Lafleur, Serie needed "a few weeks to tender his resignation and get his retirement check to start being delivered to his daughter."
The D.A. says in order to skip the expense of a trial, he allowed the case to be pushed back for a guilty plea.
Serie sent a letter to the Evangeline Parish School Board dated February 2nd, "accept this as my letter of retirement... effective March 6th."
"Justice will be served and the same thing for my wife, my family and my kids too," Serie said.
While the D.A. agreed to the arrangement, he acknowledged Serie "did not have the best interest of the victims in mind" when Serie asked to push his plea to March.
Cassidy says he was assured Serie would plead guilty this time (in the past, Serie pleaded not-guilty).
"If Mother Theresa had made the same decisions as Roy Serie did that day, she would also have to face the consequences of those actions," Beth Zilbert said.
Zilbert was in the other car with Shannon Cox when Serie hit the vehicle head-on.
Ziblert says, "perhaps (Mother Theresa) would have plead guilty to those immediately."
Serie is eligible for parole after spending three years behind bars.