GUILTY REACTION: The family of an officer hit by a drunk driver reacts to his guilty verdict
The man accused of driving drunk and running over a Des Moines police officer in front of the state fair was convicted Tuesday on all charges.
It took a Polk County jury just three hours to find Keith Terry guilty of serious injury by vehicle and driving while intoxicated after Terry ran over Officer Phoukham Tran as Tran was directing traffic in front of the State Fair last year.
Terry, a North Carolina native, had a .26 blood-alcohol level, more than three times the legal limit, at the time of the accident.
Defense attorneys tried to persuade the jury that Officer Tran was to blame for the accident, that he walked out into traffic.
Darren Page, a defense attorney, said, “He didn’t take a bullet for the crowd. He made a mistake when he stepped in front of a moving truck that had a green light.”
Tran’s family says that’s offensive, especially after all the officer has gone through. The accident sent him flying 47 feet. He suffered severe head and internal injuries and a stroke after he was hit. The accident ended Tran’s career, and almost ended his life.
Joe Tran, Officer Tran’s son, said, “He was taking a step forward like off the curb and he got hit. Hearing that evidence kinda contradicts (that).”
Terry faces up to seven years in prison. Officer Tran’s family hopes the prison time will teach Terry the dangers of driving drunk.
Joe says, “Hope he learned his lesson. This isn’t his first time with an OWI. That he’ll think more carefully next time he gets behind the wheel.”
Terry is facing up to seven years in prison, five for serious injury-reckless driving and another two years for OWI. This is his second one. Sentencing is set for April 5th.