PAGEDALE, Mo. -- A 56-year-old St. Louis County man with six drunken driving convictions and roughly 150 traffic-related arrests has been sentenced to five years in prison for a 2012 crash that killed a 4-year-old boy.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Ricky R. Weeden Sr. pleaded guilty last week to involuntary manslaughter and leaving an accident scene in connection with the Pagedale crash that killed Traye-shon Williams and injured his 10-year-old brother.
Police say Weeden was caught after a tipster told authorities she may know the driver of the truck.
Authorities say they ran Weeden’s name and visited the address in his file. That’s where they found his 2004 Chevrolet Silverado.
Police said they showed the truck to a person who witnessed fatal wreck. The witness confirmed the Silverado was the one they had seen drive off from the initial scene.
Weeden was initially charged with second-degree murder but struck a plea deal with prosecutors. Investigators said there was no evidence of alcohol use.
Weeden served less than two years in prison for his DWI convictions despite state laws that spell out longer sentences for chronic offenders. His license has been revoked since a 1983 crash that killed two people.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough said Weeden's sentence was short because he left the accident's scene, which meant authorities could not obtain the evidence they needed.
"We were not able to prove that he was intoxicated at the time of the accident. He wasn't arrested for two of three days following the accident and there was just no way for us to prove he was intoxicated," McCollough said.