POSTED: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 7:30pm
UPDATED: Monday, December 10, 2012 - 8:59pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — About 20 members of the Gaines family were in a Clinton courtroom today as Brett Gerald entered his guilty pleas for vehicular homicide. Each wore seven white ribbons on black t-shirts to represent each person killed in the May crash. Police have said Gerald, 30, was driving drunk when he ran head-on in to a car carrying six members of the Gains family, as well as a family friend.
"Now that he pleaded guilty, that helped a whole lot. That relieved our minds to a certain degree. It didn't take everything off, but it did give us some kind of relief, I can assure you," explained John Gaines.
Though Gerald has entered guilty pleas, his court dates aren't over yet. A judge will still need to sentence him, and each count carries a minimum of five years jail time and a max of 30. For John, Gaines and his family hope that justice will be served in the sentence.
"All we're really trying to do is ensure that he be punished reasonably. We’re not out for blood. We just want a fair and honest sentence. Nothing is going to bring them back, but we want to just ensure that he gets sufficient time."
Gaines said he misses his wife, daughter and grandchildren who were killed in the crash every day. And with the holidays in full swing, their presence is sorely missed. However, Gaines and his family members know with jail time on the horizon for Gerald, their journey toward healing can begin.
"We trusted in God to hold us together and keep us strong to where we'll be able to you know we can get this behind us. You know, we'll never forget our family, no kind of way, or stop loving them. But at least we'll be getting some type of a closure," Gaines added.
Gerald's sentencing will take place on March 12, 2013. NBC33 spoke with District Attorney Sam D'aquilla in East Feliciana and he tells us they will be asking the judge to give Gerald more time in his sentencing.