Drunk driver gets prison for SE Portland fatality


William Leptich pleaded guilty on June 24

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A 64-year-old man will spend 2 years in prison after driving drunk and killing a man who was crossing a Southeast Portland street nearly a year ago.

William Leptitch, who has no previous drunk driving convictions, said he was sorry for what happened on a dimly lit stretch of SE 146th at Stark on October 26, 2018. That night Leptitch struck Darnell Jolly as he crossed the street.

Jolly died 2 days later.

Leptitch stayed at the scene and wasn’t speeding. He told prosecutors he didn’t feel drunk — but his blood alcohol level was .10, slightly above the legal limit.

Police later discovered a receipt for alcohol that Leptich bought and drank right before the crash occurred.

“There is no reason that someone should operate a vehicle while they are under the influence of intoxicants. It is incredibly risky behavior,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Collins. “It’s unclear why William Leptich did not see Mr. Jolly crossing the street and why he could not avoid the crash.”

Leptitch pleaded guilty to negligent homicide and driving under the influence on June 24, 2019. After he completes his prison term he’ll be under state supervision for another 3 years.

He’s required to go through any ordered treatments and alcohol evaluations, pay a $1000 fine, and attend a DUII Victim Impact Panel. His driver’s license was permanently revoked.

It is a reminder of a life lost — Darnell Jolly was simply crossing a street — and a reminder also of how good people can end up doing bad things.

Jolly lost his life and Leptitch’s life is permanently altered. He left the courtroom in handcuffs on his way to prison.

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