LaPlace man sentenced for vehicular homicide

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 12, 2002


EDGARD – A 26-year-old LaPlace man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for the vehicular homicide of a Metairie man outside Airline Motors Restaurant on Aug. 3, 2001.

Arnold Dean Kiersey Jr., then of 153 Betty Ave., was leaving Airline Motors, headed for a bar, and he was already heavily intoxicated. His vehicle struck Richard Wehrstedt, 54, in the parking lot as the disc jockey loaded his equipment after his evening of work in the restaurant’s lounge.

Kiersey had first sideswiped another vehicle, then hit Wehrstedt.

The accident was seen by several witnesses, who quickly alerted the St. John the Baptist Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies found Kiersey at another bar, where he was too drunk to respond to questions and completely unaware he had struck Wehrstedt.

According to court records, Kiersey’s blood-alcohol level was .158 when arrested, beyond the legal limit of .10. He was booked on charges of driving while intoxicated, hit-and-run driving, vehicular homicide and reckless operation of a motor vehicle and held on a $440,000 bond set by 40th Judicial District Judge Mary Hotard Becnel.

Wehrstedt, a popular disc jockey, usually worked Airline Motors on Thursdays, and at RJ’s Lounge on Tuesdays.

Kiersey pleaded guilty to the charge in March and was sentenced this week by Becnel.