UPDATE: Tashonty Toney has been sentenced to 90 years hard labor.
NEW ORLEANS – Tashonty Toney has pled guilty to plowing into a string of people leaving the Endymion parade earlier this year.
Toney was driving drunk when his black 2018 Camaro “tore a five-block path of destruction before crashing on a neutral ground” on March 2, 2019, according to the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Toney was scheduled to stand trial for the deaths of 27-year-old Sharee Walls of New Orleans and 31-year-old David Hynes of Seattle, but the guilty plea avoided that trial.
“While I am pleased that our surviving victims and witnesses have been spared the trauma of reliving these events at trial, the sad truth is that the carnage this drunk driver left strewn in his wake nearly eight months ago cannot be undone by his guilty plea,” Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said. “This was one of the most horrific events our city has seen, and marked the second time in three years that the selfish and irresponsible conduct of one impaired driver has caused such devastating injury, expense and heartache to so many innocent people celebrating the Mardi Gras season. As another holiday season approaches, the warning cannot be more clear: Do not drive while impaired. Do not put your life and the lives of others at risk.”
Two 28-year-old women, a 31-year-old man, a 62-year-old man, a 53-year-old woman, and a 56-year-old woman were also struck by Toney’s vehicle, along with a 27-year-old woman who was hurt less severely than the others.
Toney faces five to 30 years in state prison for each of the two deaths, and state law requires those sentences to be served consecutively, according to Cannizzaro.
Toney faces additional penalties after pleading guilty last week to six felony counts of first-degree vehicular negligent injuring, one misdemeanor count of vehicular negligent injuring, and seven misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run.