City woman seeks dismissal or reduction in DUI death

Published 12:31 am Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Vicksburg woman serving a 20-year prison sentence for a 2007 drunk driving wreck that killed an 81-year old man has filed a suit to have her conviction overturned and her sentence vacated, or at minimum, her sentence reduced.

Brandy Michelle Wallace, 29, has been incarcerated at the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility at Pearl since her July 2008 sentencing for aggravated DUI in the death of John Parrette.

Her suit for post-conviction relief was filed in the Warren County Circuit Clerk’s office May 12 by Jackson attorney Kevin D. Camp.

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Wallace, who was represented by Vicksburg attorney Michael Warren at her plea and sentencing hearings, claims in the suit that her attorney was ineffective and did not inform her of possible defenses in court.

The suit also claims that “inadmissible evidence was used against her during the plea process, that her blood sample was taken outside of the time limit (set) by statute and that as a result of her counsel’s ineffectiveness and the use of inadmissible evidence her guilty plea was involuntary.”

Wallace claims Warren refused to submit letters written in her support prior to sentencing to presiding Circuit Judge Isadore Patrick.

Wallace, who lived at 133 Roseland Drive, pleaded guilty July 11, 2008, to causing the death of Parrette, who was hit while he was checking his mail in front of his home on the same street.

Investigators said Wallace was northbound on Roseland at an unknown speed when her Toyota Tacoma left the street and struck Parrette. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Warren County Grand Jury indicted her in May 2008.

Prosecutors said she was driving with a suspended license from a previous DUI conviction.

In her suit, Wallace claims that she drove that day out of necessity, to escape a violent roommate who had threatened to kill her. Her roommate had physically abused her in the past, the suit states.

Parrette, a widower, was a retired civil engineer and technician at Waterways Experiment Station. He had two daughters, Rebecca P. Brasfield and Rachel P. Gray; three grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.