LeBeau pleads not guilty to vehicular manslaughter
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Central High School basketball coach charged with killing a seven-year-old while driving drunk entered a not guilty plea Thursday morning.
LeBeau's attorney is already lining up a few angles of his defense, but our legal analyst says there really is no defense. There are just factors that could reduce the ultimate sentence after a conviction.
Loren LeBeau denied guilt through his attorney Thursday, but spoke very little on his own behalf. The Central High School basketball coach only talked when the judge directly addressed him about the conditions of his release from jail on bail. LeBeau isn't allowed to drink at all, and has to attend four AA meetings every week.
Judge Greg Fain told the defendant, "Mr. LeBeau, you're promising these things and agreeing to comply with these conditions?"
Loren LeBeau replied, "Yes, your honor."
Despite the not guilty plea, LeBeau is likely to go from the hard-court to hard time for the crash that killed 7-year-old Donovan Maldonado, according to ABC30 Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi. He says it could take a while, but this case won't ever go to trial.
Capozzi explained, "I see this case down the line where a plea bargain will be worked out and his attorney -- and he has a very good attorney -- will work out the best possible deal that he can for his client."
Jeff Hammerschmidt has outlined some possible defenses in the case -- like bad lighting at the crosswalk, and right-of-way issues with the Maldonado family. And he contradicted Fresno Police statements that LeBeau left the scene for between 15 and 20 minutes.
Hammerschmidt said, "This isn't from our investigation, but from their reports: Mr. LeBeau returned to the scene less than 10 minutes from the time of the accident."
But Capozzi says those defenses don't make LeBeau not guilty, just less punishable.
Capozzi said, "They may be effective in terms of mitigating factors, but I don't see those as a defense to what happened here."
There's some disagreement over how long LeBeau could end up in prison if he's convicted, but it could be as long as 24 years. There's no dispute that that's at least two years less than what he could've received on the original complaint filed last week.
dui, court, fresno, fresno county, local, corin hoggard
- Teen girl found dead in Madera County stream
- Bad air keeps some Valley students indoors 10 min ago
- Valley schools prepare for new transgender law
- The new year will mean a new sheriff for Merced County
- Man accused of killing Los Banos boy in crash changes plea 18 min ago
- Public tickets to the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl sold out
- Calif senator: Revenge porn law should include selfies
- Mega Million Winning Numbers
- Marijuana was target of Fresno Co home invasion
- Kai was neither hero nor did he cause crash, witnesses say
- Scams can include investments with friends
- Jury awards $1.5 million in Fresno Police excessive force trial
- Valley growers told to brace for drought
- Gunman kills himself, 1 other at Reno hospital
- Bad air keeps some Valley students indoors
11 min ago
- Easy ways to make holiday parties festive
10 min ago
Most Viewed StoriesMost Viewed Photos