A man whose aunt died after he crashed into a pole driving her home from a remembrance party was sentenced Tuesday to serve three years of probation.
Desean Jennings, 23, pleaded guilty in December to involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and driving under the influence before Common Pleas Judge Philip A. Ignelzi. In addition to probation, he must spend four days in the court’s DUI alternative program.
According to Pittsburgh police, Mr. Jennings was driving his aunt, Ida Green, and his father home just before 11:30 p.m. Sept. 28, 2013, when he crashed the car they were in into a pole at Lincoln Avenue and Lyric Street in East Liberty.
Ms. Green, 61, who was the front-seat passenger, died at the scene.
Mr. Jennings, who was 20 at the time, had a blood-alcohol content of .055, which is below the legal limit for adults but considered to be illegal for minors.
He was charged with homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence, which was withdrawn by prosecutors at the time of the plea.
Investigators said there was no evidence of braking, and the car was traveling 35 mph in a 25 mph zone.
During the sentencing hearing, Tara Poindexter, Ms. Green’s daughter, asked the court to be lenient on Mr. Jennings.
“He’s a really good kid,” she said. ”He’s not out there shooting and killing people. He is doing something with his life.”
Mr. Jennings is currently going to school for carpentry, his attorney said, and also works Downtown.
“We still love him and y’all taking him away from us is like killing both persons, because he’s a really good kid,” she said.
According to the criminal complaint, the family had been at a remembrance party that night for a relative, Eric Frazier, who had been killed in a shooting five years earlier.
Paula Reed Ward: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-2620 or on Twitter: @PaulaReedWard.