Ocean Springs man charged with DUI causing death and injuries sentenced

District Attorney W. Crosby Parker announced Thursday that 30-year-old David Thomas Pelkey pled...
District Attorney W. Crosby Parker announced Thursday that 30-year-old David Thomas Pelkey pled guilty this week to one count of driving under the influence causing death and one count of driving under the influence causing injuries.(Harrison County Sheriff's Department)
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 10:47 AM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - An Ocean Springs man who was arrested in 2021 for driving under the influence, causing the death of one man and injuries to another, was sentenced this week at the Harrison County Courthouse.

District Attorney W. Crosby Parker announced Thursday that 30-year-old David Thomas Pelkey pled guilty this week to one count of driving under the influence causing death and one count of driving under the influence causing injuries.

After hearing the facts of the case, Circuit Judge Randi P. Mueller sentenced Pelkey to 25 years, 8 years suspended, and 17 years to serve in the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Judge Mueller also ordered Pelkey be placed on 5 years of post-release supervision..

“The Defendant’s actions that night took an innocent life and injured another. We hope this conviction and sentence will help these victims and their families in the healing process,” said District Attorney Parker.

The investigation into this case began on January 23, 2021, when Biloxi Police responded to a crash on I-10 near Exit 41 around 1:40 a.m. Officers found Pelkey, the injured victim, and the deceased victim, 41-year-old Richard Gann of Ocean Springs, on scene. The injured victim was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with pelvic fractures, a cervical strain, a vertebra fracture, and a subdural hematoma.

Witnesses reported that Pelkey was driving behind the victims and ran into the rear of their vehicle, causing the crash. Pelkey told officers on scene that he was coming from Gulfport and that he tried to swerve to avoid the victims’ vehicle but hit it. Witnesses told officers they observed Pelkey driving at a high speed before crashing into the back of the victims’ vehicle. Officers began their DUI investigation after observing signs of impairment on Pelkey.

“A subsequent blood test revealed that Pelkey had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.124%. Officers also conducted an accident reconstruction and determined that Pelkey had the cruise control set at 96 mph at the time of the crash,” said Assistant District Attorney Billy Stage, who prosecuted the case.

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