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A Thibodaux man was convicted by a six-person jury of two counts of vehicular homicide and one count of negligent homicide after a four-day trial, announced Lafourche Parish District Attorney Kristine Russell.
During the trial, prosecution argued that then 39-year-old Joey Clement’s level of intoxication and high rate of speed were contributing factors that led to the fatal crash in November of 2021 that killed three teenage friends – Lily Dufrene, Hali Coss and Michaila Bowling.
“We believe the jury understood the elements of the offense required by law,“ said Assistant District Attorney Jason Chatagnier, who prosecuted the case along with Assistant District Attorney Shaun George. “Argument about which lane of travel the accident occurred in is immaterial when considering the contributing factors.”
According to expert testimony presented during the trial, Clement was traveling between 88 and 93 mph in a 55-mph zone, and had a BAC of .22g%, which is more than double the legal limit of .08g%. The three victims’ vehicle was traveling under the speed limit, and the driver, Lily Dufrene, had no alcohol or drugs in her system.
“Three families will never see their loved ones again because of someone’s decision to drive impaired,” said District Attorney Kristine Russell. “We hope this conviction sends a clear message to people – if you’ve had one sip of alcohol, don’t drive.”
The jury deliberated for approximately six hours before returning a unanimous guilty verdict.
Joey Clement was remanded into law enforcement custody pending his formal sentencing date of October 11th, 2023.•