Life sentence given deadly 19 time DUI man

Sept. 9, 2009 at 12:46 PM
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VALLEYFIELD, Quebec, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- A Canadian man with 19 drunken driving convictions, including the latest in which a woman was killed, was sentenced to life in prison in Quebec Wednesday.

Quebec Court Judge Michel Mercier gave Roger Walsh, 57, the stiff sentence, but denied prosecutors' request to have Walsh designated a dangerous offender, The (Montreal) Gazette reported.

On Oct. 23, Walsh's van struck a paraplegic woman in a wheelchair and threw her 65 feet. The woman, polio victim Anee Khudaverdian, was celebrating her 47th birthday.

Walsh's van continued on for 5 miles before he lost control and drove it off the road, the court heard.

Police said his blood-alcohol level was twice the province's legal limit when he was arrested. Walsh was not supposed to be drinking or driving at the time as he was on probation for a 2005 drunken driving conviction.

The dangerous offender designation and indefinite jail term prosecutors sought has never been applied to drunken drivers and is usually applied for serial rapists and multiple murderers, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.

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