Drunk driver pleads guilty to murder

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Dennis Hammond entered a 'blind plea' today in the crash deaths of a pregnant woman and her child, for the DUI-related crash that took their lives on July 8, 2017, according to our news partners at AL.com.

A blind plea is a guilty plea without a set sentence, meaning it will be up to the judge to sentence as he or she sees fit.

Hammond pleaded guilty to two murder charges in the deaths of 29-year-old Danetria Rice-Johnson and her child, who was not born before the crash.

Records show Hammond's vehicle crossed the center line and hit the car Rice-Johnson was a passenger in head-on.

Police got surveillance videos and receipts from a local bar and restaurant that proved that Hammond consumed at least nine alcoholic beverages just hours before the crash.

Police determined Hammond's blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

He had 3 DUI convictions prior to the 2017 crash.

The mother, rice-johnson, was nearly full term but her injuries required her to have an emergency caesarian section. She died in surgery.

Her baby, Mason, was successfully delivered and transferred to a children's hospital but died days later.

A Madison County grand jury indicted Hammond on the charges in 2017.

With the guilty plea, there will be no trial, but Rice-Johnson's family will have an opportunity to address the judges in letters or testimony prior to Hammond's sentencing.

A Madison County judge will sentence Hammond May 16th at 1:30 p.m., according to our news partner AL.com. He faces up to life in prison for each charge.

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