DWI sentence finished this month

A local businessman who killed a Belle Rose man in a 2015 driving while intoxicated accident finishes his sentence this month, while a former Thibodaux swim coach has begun serving time for molesting two young boys in his family.

Brian Richard, 39, of 1934 Bayou Road, was sentenced March 11 to five months in jail, suspended upon serving two days home incarceration, Lafourche Parish court records show. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine plus court costs, attend alcohol school and do 40 hours of community service.

Richard has completed all the conditions of his sentence, but still has to serve two years of probation.

Richard, owner of Brian’s for the Home, a Thibodaux furniture and appliance store, was charged with drunken driving and vehicular homicide in the March 5, 2015, death of Troy Williams, 35, of Belle Rose.

Police reports indicate Williams either stumbled into or was lying across the roadway when Richard hit him.

Richard initially faced both charges, but further investigation by the Louisiana State Police and the Lafourche Parish District Attorney’s Office showed that Williams was also intoxicated that morning.

“The victim was extremely, extremely intoxicated,” then-District Attorney Walter “Butch” Naquin said the month after the accident.

Because of Williams’ condition, the vehicular homicide charge was dropped, court records show. Richard, whose blood alcohol content was .177, was charged only with driving while intoxicated.

District Judge Jerome J. Barbera III, who handed down the sentence, told Richard that, based on the facts, Williams’ death was “more than likely an unavoidable accident.”

“Another incident involving alcohol and you may not be so fortunate,” Barbera said.

In an unrelated case, Ray P. Dionne, 44, of 301 Fairfield Drive in Thibodaux, began serving a five-year sentence Jan. 17 at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center. Dionne, who pleaded guilty Dec. 16 to two counts of aggravated incest, has since been transferred to a Department of Corrections facility.

Dionne, a former volunteer swim coach at the Thibodaux Country Club, also pleaded guilty to a third aggravated incest charge March 24 in a St. Tammany Parish courtroom. In that case, he was sentenced to six years at hard labor.

It is still uncertain where Dionne was sent or whether his sentences are to run concurrently. More information was not available at press time.

At Dionne’s Lafourche Parish sentencing, the father of one victim, who is also the second victim’s uncle, spoke up about what Dionne had done.

“He’s received a five-year sentence, and that’s the amount of time the abuse went on,” said the man, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of the victims. “I really don’t think the punishment fits the crime.”

According to police reports, St. Tammany officials contacted juvenile detectives here on July 24, 2015, telling them Dionne was accused of fondling a 12-year-old male relative. The multiple incidents occurred at Dionne’s home in Thibodaux and at the victim’s home in Lacombe, as well as at locations in Wiggins, Miss., and Gulf Shores, Ala.

Lafourche juvenile investigators arrested Dionne Aug. 2, 2015, on incest charges from St. Tammany and Lafourche.

Further investigation into Dionne’s activities led to a third incest charge in Lafourche, when detectives learned Dionne had been molesting another young boy here.

The boy, now 18, told authorities the abuse began with a camping trip he and Dionne took to Wiggins in 1997. The abuse continued after returning to Thibodaux and went on two or three times a week until the boy was 13.

At Dionne’s Dec. 16 sentencing, the victims’ father and uncle said the only good thing about the plea agreement was that the boys would not have to testify.

“I don’t agree with it,” he said of the five-year sentence. “I didn’t agree with it almost a year ago when Mr. Naquin told me about it.”

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