GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It took a jury less than 30 minutes to find a Gulfport man guilty of felony DUI Wednesday. Terrance Richard Campbell was then sentenced to a maximum of five years in prison.
During the trial, two Harrison County deputies testified that they were responding to a domestic dispute September 27, 2012 when they saw the defendant drive up to the scene in a 1996 Nissan Maxima. They said Campbell drove through a ditch and parked his car in the middle of the yard. The deputies said they immediately realized he was intoxicated.
One deputy said during a field sobriety test, Campbell became belligerent, and started cursing. He told the deputy, "Take me to jail; I ain't taking no test."
But officials did take a blood test and found Campbell's Blood Alcohol Content was 0.14 percent. That's twice the legal limit.
The defense argued that there was a lack of evidence as to Campbell's impairment at the time he was driving.
"However, the testimony from the deputies demonstrated that Campbell exhibited multiple signs of impairment. Also, an expert from the Mississippi Crime Lab testified that someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.14 percent would suffer from double vision, decreased motor skills, and diminished reaction time" said Robert McCormick, the Assistant District Attorney who prosecuted the case along with Shundral Hobson.
Prosecutors said Campbell had two prior convictions for misdemeanor DUI. The first from November of 2010 and the second in February of 2012, just a few months before his arrest on this charge.
After receiving the verdict, Judge Larry Bourgeois heard evidence that the defendant had previously been convicted of sale of a controlled substance and sentenced the 46 year-old Campbell to serve the maximum sentence of five years.
"Choosing to drink and drive is a dangerous crime that affects public safety every day. The defendant chose to commit this crime. The jury's verdict and Judge Bourgeois' sentence reflect the gravity of that decision," said District Attorney Joel Smith.