West Feliciana Parish, La — The Gaines family is fighting off what they believe is another blow to justice for their family, and they say it doesn't look like their court dates will be ending any time soon.
John Gaines, Jr. has spent the last 13 months moving through the court system trying to find justice for his family members killed at the hands of a drunk driver.
"It's trying as well as emotionally, psychologically draining my family," said Gaines.
Recently the case took yet another turn when the man responsible for the crash, Brett Gerald, made an appeal to shave time off his sentence. As it stands right now, Gerald was set to serve 5 years for each person who died in the crash, but he is now looking to get the sentence reduced to just five years total.
"We find that quite preposterous, based on the fact that Mr. Gerald had the potential to kill in several instances prior to this one," explained Gaines.
Gerald's lawyer said the Gaines reaction isn't shocking.
"It's not surprising that they had that kind of reaction. But what we're looking for here you know is there's got to be a balancing," said Tommy Damico, lawyer for Brett Gerald.
In light of the reduced sentences and what they feel is unfair treatment, the Gaines family is now looking to get the evidence to file a civil suit. The next step to look at the closed report filed before Gerald’s sentence was decided.
"Victims are allowed to review the pre-sentence report. The families were denied the right to review it. We found it strange but that's the way they decided to do it in Clinton,” said Gaines, “clearly our constitutional rights are being violated."
Damico said he doesn't think that report will hurt his client’s case at all.
"There’s certainly nothing in the pre-sentencing report that was overly alarming or was alarming at all and I certainly have no problem with the victims reviewing that report."
Gerald is set to appear again in court in August for his sentencing appeal hearing.