Gaines family continues search for answers

Gaines family continues search for answers
Photo provided by staff
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 6:36pm

The Gaines family is back in Clinton. They say they are still fighting for justice for their family members who were killed in a drunk driving accident over a year ago.

"Insult added to injury in the way that they're handling this, it's just not right and something has to be done," said John Gaines Sr., who lost his wife, children and grandchildren in the wreck.

They said since the judge ordered Brett Gerald to just under 30 years in jail, they have since discovered some inconsistencies with the pre-sentencing report.

"There was so much omitted from the report, it has a bearing going forward throughout the proceedings, even with the appeal case. It has the possibility to influence the decision for Brett Gerald’s sentence being reduced," explained John Gaines Jr.

That pre-sentencing report helps the judge decide just how much time Gerald should serve for his crime. So the Gaines family is back at the East Feliciana clerk of court to be sure Gerald’s past DWI arrests are included.

"Four DWI arrests. In each of those arrests, Brett Gerald had the potential to kill. This is not about vengeance or because our family was killed, we feel though that Brett Gerald was enabled to be on the road until eventually he killed seven people," added Gaines Jr.

District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla said explained that even if the prior arrests were listed in the pre-sentencing report, it wouldn't have changed the amount of time Gerald was sentenced to.

“If the prior arrests were for something heinous it may make a difference but everyone knew Gerald’s criminal history,” explained D’Aquilla.

For now the Gaines family said they won't give up their fight.

"We're looking at testing the system going forward that we can get some kind of insight in to getting the laws changed and possibly preventing this from happening to someone else."

The case and sentence are under appeal at the moment.

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