Port Acres woman changes plea to guilty in intoxication manslaughter trial

A Port Acres woman plead guilty to intoxication manslaughter Wednesday after being accused of killing a Port Arthur man last June in a two-car crash.

Chandler plead guilty to killing 55-year-old Dudley Butaud in June, 2010. Authorities say Chandler's blood alcohol was over three times the legal limit when her truck hit a railing on Highway 365 then veered into the oncoming traffic, striking a truck driven by Butaud who was on the way to meet his wife to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

The change of heart came after one day of testimony in which eyewitnesses confirmed what authorities allege.

The jury is now in its punishment phase.

Witness testimony Tuesday appeared to affirm authorities' accounts of what happened on the road that day. Samuel Watt testified he was following Butaud when Chandler's truck swerved. He said after the crash, Chandler was pulled from the window of her truck and was staggering around the scene, refusing to sit down. He said she kept heading back to her truck, but never pulled anything out.

Butaud was pronounced dead at the scene.

The jury is expected to hear sentencing testimony later today.


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