The Long Beach woman who hit and killed a man in 2012 while driving under the influence was found guilty Friday afternoon by a Harrison County jury.
Testimony in the four day trial revealed that Sara Jane Koch, 27, left a Biloxi casino around 5 a.m. on Feb. 2 after consuming five alcoholic drinks.
Koch was driving westbound on Interstate 10 when she struck Donald Louis Sullivan from behind.
District Attorney Joel Smith said Sullivan was walking on the side of the interstate with a flashlight to meet his ride for work when he was hit.
The D’Iberville Police Department responded to the scene and closed the interstate for investigation. Police say Koch was driving a Ford Mustang that had a broken windshield and heavy damage to the passenger side.
Authorities say Sullivan died at the scene from multiple injuries, which included broken bones in his legs, hips and ribs, along with a brain stem injury and cervical spine injuries. The State’s Chief Medical Examiner said the most serious injury was to the brain.
A blood sample from the Mississippi Crime Lab determined Koch’s blood alcohol level was 0.18 percent. The legal limit to drive in Mississippi is 0.08 percent.
Koch had previously been convicted of DUI six months prior to the crash.
Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Larry Bourgeois sentenced Koch to 25 years, with 18 years in prison and five years under supervision following her release.
Koch will also be required to reimburse the State of Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund for Sullivan’s funeral expenses.