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Mar 1, 2012 5:47 AM by AP

Man gets probation for fatal crash

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) - State District Judge Clayton Davis has sentenced a Sulphur man to five years' probation after he pleaded guilty to negligent homicide in connection with a 2010 fatal traffic crash.

The American Press reports Ethen Lester Kelley, 21, was scheduled to stand trial Wednesday. But prosecutor Jonathan Blake amended the original charge of vehicular homicide Tuesday and Kelley pleaded guilty.

A negligent homicide conviction carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

Blake said Kelley was driving a vehicle with passengers after a wedding on Sept. 20, 2010, and lost control of the vehicle while traveling westbound on I-10. One passenger was killed in the single-vehicle crash, Blake said.

Davis accepted Blake's sentencing recommendation of a five-year jail sentence with all but one year suspended. Kelley was ordered to spend that year at the Academy of Training Skills, beginning Tuesday afternoon.

Additionally, Kelley will spend five years on supervised probation. He must avoid alcohol and drugs, submit to random drug screens, attend a defensive driving course and victim impact panel.

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