Drunk Driver Convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter

Modified: January 6, 2016 10:41am


First Assistant Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 54 year old Rickey Mellerson of 76 Girard Place in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty to Vehicular Manslaughter in the First Degree in Erie County Court.  This is a higher charge than initially filed and the highest charge for which Mellerson could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, the defendant did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. 

On August 23, 2015, Mellerson, drove an automobile in reverse through a parking lot, which struck and killed 46 year-old Kimberly Thompson, who was sitting on a chair in a community garden adjacent to the parking lot. Mellerson appeared to be intoxicated and admitted to drinking alcohol before running over Ms. Thompson. A blood test revealed that Mellerson had a .20% blood alcohol content, which is more than twice the legal limit. Mellerson faces a maximum prison sentence of 5 to 15 years when he is sentenced on November 18, 2015 before Judge Thomas Franczyk. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Nash, who is assigned to the Erie County District Attorney’s Vehicular Crimes Bureau. Noting the professional investigation of the Buffalo Police Department, First Assistant DA Flaherty added, “Sadly, although there are far too many of these tragedies, this case once again demonstrates that the Erie County District Attorney’s Office in fact prosecutes such offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”