Commonwealth v. Jason Seth Sergent; DUI Manslaughter with Child in Car Draws 9 Years, 10 Months in Prison

Monday, June 23, 2014

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Jason Seth Sergent, 41 years old, who previously resided in the 1100 block of Newell Avenue in Norfolk, Virginia, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Edward W. Hanson Jr. for charges of Aggravated Involuntary Manslaughter and DUI-BAC .15-.20 while Transporting a Child.  Judge Hanson sentenced Sergent to 20 years and 10 months in the Department of Corrections with 11 years suspended leaving 9 years and 10 months to serve. Judge Hanson also imposed a fine of $1,000.  This sentence was 2 years above the high-end of the Virginia State Sentencing Guidelines.


Sergent pled guilty on October 7, 2013.  Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on June 8, 2013 at about 5:00 p.m. Jason Seth Sergent was driving his truck on Princess Anne Road with his 5-year-old son in the backseat.  Sergent veered off the road to the right then overcorrected, crossing into traffic and striking two cars that were headed in the opposite direction.  The first car Sergent hit was being driven by John William Hutchison, whose wife was in the passenger seat. Rescue arrived and transported Mr. Hutchison to the hospital, where he died a few hours later. Mrs. Hutchison suffered fractured ribs but survived the crash.  Sergent’s child was uninjured. 


When police arrived at the scene, they noticed that Sergent had a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot, watery eyes, slurred speech, and was swaying and stumbling.  He could not provide his driver’s license to the officers.  He failed all three attempted field sobriety tests.  Sergent told the officers he drank two beers; however, two (2) open 24-ounce Icehouse beers and eight (8) additional empty beer cans were found in the car. His BAC was .19.  Investigators also found video of Sergent purchasing beers from multiple 7-Eleven stores throughout the day. 


Mr. and Mrs. Hutchison celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary just four (4) days before the crash.  “This case is another example of the pain and misery drinking and driving can have on the victims and the community.  Drunk Driving is a preventable crime that will not be tolerated in Virginia Beach,” Stolle said. 


The case was prosecuted by Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorneys Kari A. Kopnicky and C. Andrew Rice.  Please contact Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.