NewsLafayette Parish


Driver accused in fatal crash pleads guilty

Joseph Dakota Richey
Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 14:08:22-04

The driver in a crash that resulted in the death of a UL Lafayette graduate student has pleaded guilty.

Joseph Dakota Richey, 26, has pleaded guilty to negligent homicide, possession of synthetic marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, reckless operation, speeding and no seat belt.

Richey appeared in court via video conferencing. The family of his victim, Brad Wedlock, was in court but did not make any statements.

Richey was sentenced to five years in prison for the homicide charge, six months for the synthetic marijuana charge, 60 days for the parphernalia charge, 90 days for reckless operation and 30 days for speeding. The judge ordered that the sentences be served consecutively, or one after the other.

Back in February, Richey waived his right to a trial by jury. He was set for trial today, but pleaded guilty instead.

Richey is accused of causing an April 2017 crash on Congress Street near the intersection of Guilbeau Road where the vehicle of Brad Wedlock caught fire and killed the UL Lafayette graduate student.

According to court records, Richey was charged by the 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office with vehicular homicide, OWI, possession of synthetic cannabinoids (marijuana), possession of drug paraphernalia, speeding, no seat belt and reckless operation.

Richey also had previous charges against him at the time of the fatal crash.

He was charged in August 2015 with possession of drug paraphernalia, and in December 2015 with resisting arrest and two counts of possession of synthetic marijuana.