Plastered Parent Convicted Under Leandra’s Law

Modified: November 3, 2014 12:47pm


Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 58 year- old Jerry Rutledge of 298 Lathrop Drive in the City of Buffalo pleaded guilty as charged to Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated With a Child, before Erie County Court Judge Michael Pietruszka. This is the highest charge for which the defendant could have been convicted had he gone to trial. In other words, Rutledge did not receive a so-called “plea bargain” and was instead prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

On January 15, 2014, while driving eastbound on William Street in the Town of Cheektowaga, Rutledge crossed over four lanes of traffic, including going over the double yellow line, and struck a Land Rover which, in turn, struck a pedestrian.  Fortunately, neither the driver of the Land Rover nor the pedestrian where injured. 

Responding Cheektowaga police officers observed Rutledge’s one (1) year old son strapped in his car seat as well as the defendant’s futile attempt hide two bottles of gin under his son’s diapers.  Rutledge admitted to drinking and smoking marihuana, and submitted to a blood test, which revealed a blood alcohol content .31%, nearly four times the legal limit. 

Rutledge faces up to four years in state prison when he is sentenced on December 1, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. by Justice Pietruszka. 

The case was successfully prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Bethany Solek, who is assigned to DA Sedita’s Special Victims Bureau.