A Shreveport man who barreled his SUV through a busy south Shreveport intersection last summer while inebriated, killing the driver of a vehicle he struck, was found guilty of vehicular homicide by a Caddo Parish jury Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
Matthew J. Parks, 28, was found guilty as charged unanimously by the six-person jury in District Judge Donald Hathaway Jr.’s courtroom. The trial began with jury selection Monday, July 12, 2021.
The jury determined that Parks, driving a 2003 GMC Yukon on Linwood Avenue around 1:45 a.m. June 11, 2020, accelerated through its intersection with state Highway 3132 at around 60 mph, striking the car driven by his 66-year-old female victim as she slowed to exit 3132 onto Linwood. Parks’ Yukon struck his victim’s vehicle on the driver’s side, pinning her in the wreckage. She was alone in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Crash Data Recorder taken from Parks’ SUV revealed he was accelerating through the intersection, was driving over 60 mph at the time of the collision and never braked. A breath test determined he had a blood alcohol concentration of .142, significantly above the legal limit.
The defense argued that the State failed to prove Parks was the driver of the car. The jury deliberated one hour before rejecting that defense and returning its unanimous guilty verdict.
When Parks returns to face Judge Hathaway August 18, 2021, he faces a sentence of from five to 30 years in prison with or without hard labor, at least three years to be served without benefit of probation, parole or reduction of sentence.
Prosecutors were Assistant District Attorneys Jason Waltman and Victoria Washington. Parks was defended by J. Antonio Florence.