We perish because we know not… #TLENews
An Alabaster man who Shelby County prosecutors claim has at least 24 prior DUI convictions was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Tuesday for his latest charge.
On the day before he turned 56 years old, David Louis Layne pleaded guilty in Shelby County Circuit Court in Columbiana to felony driving under the influence and misdemeanor third-degree assault involving injury to a person. Circuit Judge Dan Reeves sentenced Layne in line with the prosecution’s recommendation of 10 years for the DUI charge.
The prison length was a departure from presumptive sentencing standards, which recommended a sentence of between 15 months and 97 months, according to court documents. The parties agreed to an aggravating factor that the offense “created a substantial risk to human health of safety.”
Layne has been in jail on both charges since his arrest Sept. 4 after a two-vehicle crash that caused injuries to an occupant of the other car in Alabaster.
“This is a tragedy waiting to happen if something is not done about this man,” Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney said about Layne following the crash.
Shelby County Circuit Judge Dan Reeves had set Layne’s bond at $100,000 on the felony DUI charge based on a recommendation filed by then-Chief Assistant Shelby County District Attorney Jill Lee, who cited the number of past DUI convictions.
“Defendant has at least twenty four previous DUI convictions,” Lee wrote in court documents filed in the case. “Defendant is a danger to the public at large.”
Lee, who is now district attorney, in an interview this morning said the 10-year sentence represents the maximum for felony DUI. “I would like to see him stay 10 years because I don’t have a great deal of confidence” he’ll change after his prison sentence, she said. “We’ve repeated this cycle before.”
In prison, he won’t be able to driving while intoxicated, Lee said. “For the next while, I know that David Louis Layne is not going to get into his vehicle and run over somebody — an innocent victim, mother, child, dad,” she said.
Layne’s 10-year prison sentence on his latest charge noted he has at least three prior DUI convictions within the last five years. He pleaded guilty under a best interest plea, which is a legal term for a plea in which the defendant does not admit guilt but decides to plead guilty anyway.
He had previously pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to his latest charges. He had a jury trial set for Feb. 9 on the felony DUI charge.
Layne’s sentence also includes one year in jail for the assault charge. Both sentences will be served concurrently.
As part of his sentence, Reeves ordered Layne to pay $4,100 in restitution, successfully complete a DUI/Substance Abuse Treatment Program, surrender his driver’s license for revocation, comply with requires for an ignition interlock device, and pass random drug and alcohol screens as directed by probation or other program.
Layne’s indictment from October lists three DUI convictions, including two from Alabaster Municipal Court and one from Shelby County Circuit Court. He also shows at least five other guilty pleas in DUI cases and one dismissal in a database for Shelby County court records.
Layne’s last DUI conviction in Shelby County involved an indictment for felony driving under the influence on Feb. 15, 2013. He also had charges of driving on the wrong side of a roadway and driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to his indictment.
His arrest warrant for the February 2013 case states he was driving under the influence on Interstate 65 in Alabaster’s city limits just before midnight. He was arrested after nearly striking another vehicle, according to court documents.
The prosecution at that time recommended a $75,000 bond for Layne because his criminal history indicated he had been arrested for driving under the influence on 20 occasions and has been convicted of DUI in Shelby County at least five times, including two for felony DUI.
Layne pleaded guilty on Dec. 3, 2013, to misdemeanor driving under the influence under a plea agreement that resulted in a sentence of one year in jail with 284 days of credit for time served.
Layne was released from Shelby County jail last February for time served, according to court records.
The crash that resulted in Layne’s latest arrest happened at about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 on Industrial Road, where he hit the driver’s side of another car and injured that occupant, Rigney said following Layne’s arrest.
Rigney said his agency has arrested Layne several times for DUI, but he could not say how many.