Family finds closure after jury sentences Kountze man to 20 years for intoxication manslaugther

Testimony in the sentencing hearing of Michael Lynn Davis, 38, who admitted causing the wreck that killed Jerry Campbell, 77, of Vidor, began on Monday.

ORANGE - A family has some closure after an Orange County jury sentenced a Kountze man who pleaded guilty in the 2016 intoxication manslaughter of a 77-year-old Vidor man.

Michael Lynn Davis, 38, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine for the crime.

After the sentence was announced the victim's daughter Cindy Campbell took the stand to give a victim impact statement.

"Michael Davis is a killer he is not only a killer but a coward he has shown no remorse," she said.

When Davis walked out of the courtroom to go back to jail he did not show any emotion which bothered Cynthia Campbell.

“He's a killer, he's a cowardly killer he proved that by the smile that he gave me when I stated that, he has no remorse," said Campbell.

Outside the courtroom several family members hugged each other with tears in their eyes. Campbell’s oldest daughter, Jo Campbell said she is glad Davis is facing 20 years behind bars.

"We have choices, every action or non-action you have a choice and there are always consequences," said Jo Campbell.

The family explains they are happy with the sentence but want to raise awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence and how it can destroy a family.

"This happens everyday, driving under the influence driving while impaired it happens everyday it has to stop somehwere," said Campbell's son Jeff.

During closing arguments, prosecutor Krispin Walker emphasized that Campbell could have lived another 20 years and spoke of the grand children that would never get to know him.

She emphasized that meth and Xanax were found in Davis' blood and also mentioned his prior convictions for burglary of habitation, possession of meth as well as a prior conviction for prostitution.

Walker also told jurors that Davis had tried to walk away from the scene but was stopped by a witness to the wreck.

Jeff Campbell said Davis' past convictions prove that he will never learn his lesson.

"He’s been involved in drugs before and been let off and let off and that can’t be tolerated,” said Jeff Campbell.

Cynthia Campbell said she believes the law should require people who are convicted of intoxication manslaughter to serve more time in jail.

“How can you kill someone and only have a maximum of 20 years I will be proactive as the rest of our family with trying to get those laws changed,” said Campbell.

While the family is satisfied Davis received the maximum sentence they said nothing can heal the pain of losing a great father.

"With everything that has happened we will still continue on Campbell strong," said Jo Campbell.

Testimony in the sentencing hearing of who admitted causing the wreck that killed Jerry Campbell, 77, of Vidor, began on Monday.

Davis faced from 2 to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine in the case.

The defense spent less than a half-hour presenting their case calling only one witness before they rested.

Edgar Zertuche, who owns a car lot, testified that he bought Davis' truck at auction following the wreck.

He testified that while he did not know the condition of the truck at the time of the wreck but said that the truck had issues when he bought it.

Davis' father told 12News during the break that he told defense attorney Bryan Laine that he was willing to take the stand as a character witness for his son but said he'd been kept in the dark regarding his son's defense.

The morning began with the prosecution calling its final witness, forensic pathologist Dr. John Ralston to the stand to testify about the autopsy he performed on Jerry Campbell.

Dr. Rolston, who testified that Campbell could have lived another 20 years had it he not been killed, said that Campbell had multiple fractures on his skull and large lacerations on his head.

Campbell's family members looked away and the defendant, Davis, looked down as autopsy photos were shown in court.

Dr. Rolston testified that the cause of death was multiple injuries from a motor vehicle striking a pedestrian.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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