Duhon pleads guilty to DUI death

Published 7:00 am Friday, January 29, 2016

Louis Andrew Duhon, 41, was sentenced to 25 years in prison stemming from his involvement in an accident that occurred in July 2014, resulting in the death of 18-year-old Jacob Moeller.

On Jan. 19, Duhon pled guilty to the charge of aggravated DUI causing death. Thursday, Claiborne “Buddy” McDonald, 15th circuit court judge, sentenced Duhon after hearing pleas from Moeller’s family and the defendant respectively.

Farron Moeller, a county supervisor, lost a son but said somehow he and his family have found a way to forgive Duhon.

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“We’ve been able to forgive but not forget,” Moeller said. “If Jake could come back, he would have forgiven Duhon.”

In Moeller’s memory, the family started No Turning Back, a non-profit organization in Picayune dedicated to sponsor mission trips and awarding scholarships to children due to Moeller’s strong involvement in mission work.

According to the indictment from the 15th District’s Office of the District Attorney, Duhon was charged after it was determined that, at the time of the car accident, he was under the influence of a combination of schedule IV controlled substances, including meprobamate, carisoprodol, alprazolam and midazolam.

“He had prior convictions relating to DUI, so it was [McDonald’s] belief that since he’s not resolved himself of those issues, the best thing to do is remove him from the street,” 15th District Attorney Hal Kittrell said. “We’re pleased with the sentence and we think that he hit it on the nail’s head… My prayers go out to the family for their loss. I’ve never seen a family handle a situation like that so well and they were able to do so through faith and Christ.”

The car accident occurred on July 15, 2014 after the GMC Sierra, driven by Duhon, collided with Moeller’s Dodge Ram. Both men were trapped in their vehicles, and once extricated, were transported to Forrest General Hospital, where Moeller passed away from multiple systems trauma, according to a story in July 2014.

Kittrell said he would like to thank Clay Cranford, assistant district attorney, for preparing the case and the Pearl River County Sheriff’s Department for their thorough investigation.

“Because of their investigation, it led to this plea,” Kittrell said.