Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 20 year old Wallace Hedgepeth of 159 Hamlin, Buffalo, pleaded guilty, as charged, before County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case to Vehicular Manslaughter in the Second Degree, Vehicular Assault in the Second Degree and Driving While Intoxicated. These are the highest charges for which Hedgepeth could have been convicted had he gone to trial.
Hedgepeth admitted that on June 23, 2013, while on the Elm Street ramp at Rt. 33 in Buffalo, he had a BAC of .14% and drove his vehicle in a manner that caused the death of 21year old Jireh Williams, who was a rear passenger in his vehicle. The investigation showed that Hedgepeth was driving approximately 102 mph when he lost control of his vehicle, struck a curb on that ramp, went airborne and crashed into a guard rail on the Tupper Street on-ramp. He then continued to drive and crashed into a tree on the other side of Tupper, causing his 21 year old friend to be ejected from the vehicle. Additionally, his front seat passenger, 20 year old Antonio Briggs, sustained shoulder injuries.
The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kelley A. Omel, Chief of DA Sedita’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau. Hedgepeth faces a maximum prison sentence of 7 years when he is sentenced on January 15, 2014 before Judge Case.