Drunk driver who crashed into Endymion parade crowd set to be released


 who crashed into a crowd along the Endymion parade route in February 2017 is expected to be released from prison later this month.

Last October, Nielson Rizzuto pleaded guilty to 14 misdemeanor charges and 11 felony charges of first-degree vehicular negligent injury.

The Orleans District Attorney’s Office said he was sentenced to five years, one suspended, with credit for time served.

According to a law passed last year, a first-time non-violent offender needs to serve 35-percent of a sentence.

Rizzuto was credited with 320 days served in jail.

District attorney Leon Cannizzaro said he shares the frustration of the victims who believe Rizzuto deserves more time in prison.

“As I said in January, Judge (Ben) Willard certainly could have imposed a more stringent sentence than he did. I believe that would have been appropriate, given the number of victims and the life-changing severity of some of their injuries,” Cannizzaro said. “But when you combine this judge’s leniency with the accelerated release dates implemented last year in Louisiana’s Criminal Justice Reinvestment Initiative, this result becomes possible. I would rather see more consideration given to crime victims than to those who harmed them through criminal acts.”

He is expected to be released July 20. 

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