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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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Men convicted in deadly crashes want early prison release

Men convicted in deadly crashes want early prison release

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Two men who are behind bars for separate alcohol-related crashes that killed eight people are each asking for an early release.

The Advocate reports Brett Gerald and Joseph Branch filed a lawsuit earlier this year against the state Department of Corrections.

Gerald was sentenced to 35 years in prison for a 2012 crash near Slaughter that killed seven people.

Branch is serving 7 1/2 years for killing a bicyclist in a 2012 crash in Baton Rouge.

Gerald and Branch's attorneys argued Wednesday in 19th Judicial District Court that both men should have to serve only 40 percent of their sentences. They say both crashes predate a state Supreme Court ruling declaring vehicular homicide a crime that requires those convicted to serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.

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