(Photo: iberianet.com/Corey Vaughn)
An Iberia Parish jury found the man who previously led a recall effort against Iberia Parish Sheriff Louis Ackal guilty of negligent homicide after a 2016 road rage incident that left a Bossier City man dead.
Donald Broussard, 46, of New Iberia, had been indicted on one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated obstruction of a highway. While the manslaughter charge carried a maximum sentence of 40 years, the lesser negligent homicide charge has a maximum sentence of 5 years.
Rakeem Blakes, 24, of Bossier City, died on the morning of July 8, 2016 when his car hit a Kenworth truck on the eastbound U.S. 90 Service Road near Jefferson Island Road in Iberia Parish. According to Louisiana State Police, the crash happened when Blakes’ vehicle crossed into the westbound lane of the service road and struck a Kenworth truck.
But moments before, Broussard Police officers said Blakes was involved in a hit-and-run collision at the corner of Ambassador Caffery Parkway and U.S. 90 in Lafayette Parish, where he reportedly rear-ended a Cadillac driven by Broussard. According to witnesses, Broussard got out of his vehicle with a gun and threatened Blakes, then chased him along U.S. 90 until Blakes took an exit and hit the truck trying to escape.
Broussard took the stand Thursday afternoon in his own defense. He called the testimony of four independent eyewitnesses who said they saw him holding a gun during the confrontation “100 percent false,” despite the fact that he was recorded saying “I got my pistol on me. Either ya’ll going to meet in Iberia Parish and stop this guy or I am going to stop him,” on the 911 dispatcher recording of the incident which was played for the jurors.
The dispatcher again instructed Broussard to stop the pursuit and he refused.
Broussard continued the pursuit until he witnessed the fiery crash — almost 10 miles from where the initial incident occurred. On the 911 recording he can be heard saying, “Up oh yea, God don’t sleep, God don’t sleep. He just wrecked into an 18 wheeler.”