Drunk Driver Gets 10 Years In Fatal Accident

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 33-year-old St. Paul man was sentenced in Ramsey County Court Thursday in a drunk driving accident that killed one and seriously injured another back in March of 2010.

Eddie Cortez Smith was sentence to 10 years in prison, the maximum allowed under state law. He was convicted of criminal vehicular homicide and criminal vehicular operation on May 10.

According to a criminal complaint, Smith was driving on the morning of March 28, 2010, when his car, driving on a St. Paul city street, was going 53 miles per hour when it hit a vehicle with two victims inside that was stopped at a stop sign at Milton and Watson Avenues.

Testing after Smith’s arrest showed that he had a blood alcohol level of .11, above the .08 legal limit for driving. The criminal complaint states Smith started drinking at about 9 p.m. the night before the accident and drank for six hours, consuming six shots of tequila and several beers.

The complaint also states that Smith’s driver’s license had been revoked for not paying child support and the vehicle he was driving during the crash had no insurance.

Edith Schouveller, 93, was killed in the accident and 66-year-old Theodore Hanson was seriously injured.

  • Peggy Brennan

    It’s not an ‘accident’ when someone chooses to drive after becoming impaired. It’s a crime which too often results in a crash and the sudden, tragic, violent loss of innocent life. There is a reason it’s against the law to drink & drive….alcohol and other drugs impair a human being’s ability to react, think, reason, see, and make judgments. Using the term ‘accident’ implies something just happened out of anyone’s control. Someone deliberately chose to disregard public safety and now the consequences are a lose-lose situation for all involved.

  • Me

    Good. Enough with people getting away with drinking and drivng and committing vehicular homicide with slap on the wrist sentences.

    • Stating the Obvious

      Hate to say it like this but if you killed someone with a gun you could get a life sentence. But if you are Drinking and Driving and Kill someone the max is 10 Years. If I was a criminal and I wanted to kill someone I think I may have to hit up the bars before I run them over.

    • Dave

      You think 10 years is enough, huh? Wait ’till one of your family members gets wiped out by one of these idiots. The only way to stiffen DWI laws and penalties is through the legislature. Unfortuantely, this will never happen. Know how many lawmakers have been arrested for DWI? Do some research on your representatives before you vote next time…the results may surprise you.

  • Larry Sr

    Gotta love the laws in MN
    when you want to off someone, or a contract killer, just use the laws to your advantage. Kill ’em with a car…if you do get got heck – 10’s the max. Likely in many cases it’ll be a few months.

    Splat …. got another one they say……..spalt splat splat. Still can’t exceed that 10 years baby no matter how many. :(

  • ali

    10 years… is only 6.5 years if you do not cause trouble, can do paroll after 3.5 years. out in 3.5 years and he can do it again. Such soft laws we have for this crime.

    • Chris

      See above comment. Dave is right. Lawmakers are reluctant to toughen up the laws/penalties because many of them have been tossed in the slammer for DWI. Until we clean house, it won’t change.

  • Mr D

    The death penalty would have been better.

  • pat

    What a bum, I wonder if he is illegal, no license, no childsupport, yet he has the money to drink to the point where he kills others. 10 years from now he will be right back at it.

  • See BS

    Last week they put a guy in Prison for 17 years for locking his girlfriend in a dog kennel.

    So much for “equal Protection”

    A woman in White Bear Lake killed 2 people in a drunk driving accident with more than just alcohol in her blood and was sentanced 1 year in county jail.

    • Greg

      Yea, except they guy who locked his girlfriend in a dog kennel also beat her on multiple occasions, threatened her and threatened her even after charges were filed. A bit more extreme than just locking her in a kennel. He kind of shows a history of beating people. Or are you trying to hint that what he did to her wasn’t so bad?

      Sentencing for drunk driving also depends on prior history and evaluation of the likeliness to repeat.

  • Victim Du Jour

    I can cite many cases to prove our court system is political, showing favoritism, and working directly for the corporate run media.

  • allen

    No driver’s license, no child support. Where have I heard this before? Have fun in prison, Cortez. All the brothers will think you’re cool.

  • Angus

    1. The legislature does not toughen the laws because the liquor industry has too much clout with their financial contributions, not cecause so many have been caught drinking. Why do you think it is ok to drive and be on a cell phone at the same time?
    2. Where was this guy drinking and why didn’t they cut him off? Bars are supposed to take such action. Hopefully the families can be sucessful in suing the bars.
    3. I like a drink (one) when out to dinner but I prefer the law in some European countries. One drink and you drive, DWI with tough enforcement. I could live with it when it saves lives.

  • Lisa Camille

    He should have been put away YEARS ago. He has a LONG history of gang involvement and beating and raping women. Washington County should have put him in prison YEARS ago. They need to take domestic violence seriously.

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