A Pinellas County Circuit Court judge sentenced Demetrius Jordan this week to over 40 years in prison for DUI manslaughter, related to the deaths of four men on Aug. 1, 2010. Shortly after midnight on that date, Jordan, who was drunk and high, drove south on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street in St. Petersburg. According to law enforcement, his Chevrolet Impala traveled at speeds of approximately 92 mph, despite a speed limit of 35 mph.
Elroy McConnell and his three adult sons, ages 19 to 51, were traveling in a Ford Fusion that entered the intersection at the exact same moment as Jordan’s Impala. All four McConnells died in the crash. Their families spoke at the sentencing.
Immediately after the crash, Jordan waived his Miranda rights and told investigators he had liquor mixed with Four Loko, an alcoholic beverage, and that he had smoked marijuana, police said. Tests showed Jordan’s blood-alcohol level at 0.154 percent. Under Florida law, a driver is presumed legally intoxicated at 0.08.
Jordan pleaded guilty last month to four counts of driving under the influence-manslaughter and one count of DUI with serious bodily injury. Jordan’s defense attorney argued that his client deserved less than the 44 years of imprisonment suggested by sentencing guidelines, pointing out that Jordan had no criminal background and no history of alcohol or drug abuse. Jordan’s family and friends also testified at sentencing, asking for mercy from the court.
After listening to all of the testimony, including an apology by Jordan, the court followed the sentencing guidelines and sentenced the 22-year-old to 44 years in prison.