LIMA —Apologetic and tearful, a Louisiana man was sentenced to 42 months in prison Wednesday morning in Allen County Common Pleas Court for seriously injuring an area woman while driving drunk.
Albert Shiflett Jr., 60, of Gonzales, Louisiana, in August accepted a negotiated offer from prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to one count of aggravated vehicular assault, a third-degree felony, and a misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. A second OVI count was dismissed.
A recommended prison sentence of 42 months was agreed upon by prosecutors and Shiflett’s attorney. Judge Terri Kohlrieser on Wednesday sentenced Shiflett to the agreed-upon term.
According to a report from the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers were dispatched on the evening of May 19 to a two-vehicle traffic accident at the intersection of Eastown Road and Allentown Road.
Shiflett’s vehicle had rear-ended a vehicle driven by Loni Reed, 34, leaving the woman with serious injuries, including a fractured vertebra, upper jaw fracture, broken teeth and fractured ribs. She was transferred to OSU-Wexner Medical Center for treatment.
Shiflett’s blood alcohol content was found to be twice that of the legal limit.
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Reed addressed the man who left her with injuries both physical and mental.
“I’m not sure you knew how much harm you caused, or if you even cared,” Reed said, addressing Shiflett directly. “Your selfish decision to drive drunk affected me physically and emotionally. It’s now been 129 days and counting since my life was forever changed.”
Shiflett, seated at the defense table in the courtroom, turned and spoke to his victim.
“There’s absolutely no way you deserved this,” he told Reed. “I honestly wish I’d hit a tree and died myself rather than do this to you. I can’t take it back, but — even if I get my license back someday — I will never drive again. I am really, really sorry,” Shiflett said, fighting back tears.
In addition to the 3½-year prison term, Kohlrieser ordered Shiflett to pay $716 in restitution and suspended his driving privileges for 10 years.