ORANGE, Texas – A former West Orange-Stark (Orange, Texas) High School assistant football coach has been sentenced by a judge to probation and fined for his role in the 2015 hit-and-run deaths of a mom and her daughter.
Carl Jacob Broussard was sentenced to 10 years probation and fined $10,000 by Judge Buddie Hahn in 260th District Court in Orange County on Monday afternoon. The court will also decide if he could face 180 days in jail as part of his probation.
If Broussard violates the terms of his probation he could face 10 years in prison.
Broussard pleaded guilty in March 2017 to two second degree felony counts of failure to stop and render aid in the fatal 2015 accident that killed Ava Nichole Lewis, 25, and her daughter, LaMya Janise Newhouse, 6.
Broussard told 12 news off camera he is thankful to god for his sentence but still is heartbroken for the deaths of LaMya and Ava Lewis.
Earlier in testimony, Broussard described the night of the hit and run accident. He said he was driving down a dark road then looked up at a sign and heard a loud noise. Broussard told the judge he was in a state of shock and and was trying to figure out what happened.
He said his windshield was broken and thought he hit a large animal.
“There was no way in my mind it was a human being…things like that don’t happen to me,” said Broussard.
Broussard explained he could not see anything in the road at the time of the accident.
Afterwards he said he drove to his girlfriend’s house and told her he hit something in the road. He said he examined the front of his car which had the windshield smashed but did not see any blood on the car. He told the judge his girlfriend went back to the scene of the accident and then called him telling him he hit a mother and a child instead of an animal.
“It devastated me emotionally…I didn’t want to accept it, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever heard in my life,” said Broussard.
After he heard the news, Broussard said he felt like he was in a zombie state of mind. He explained his girlfriend told him to put his car in the garage and they didn’t speak about the incident for the rest of the night.
“Who knows what it feels like to hit someone and kill them and not know it that’s what’s in me now,” said Broussard. “I hope no one goes through that my pain is not for me it’s for them, nobody knows what it’s like,” said Broussard.
Broussard said the day after the incident he went to school to tie up loose ends but admits he knew he was going to turn himself in. When questioned about his state of mind Broussard told the judge he was very depressed.
“I don’t think I would ever commit suicide but you know people fear death, I don’t feel it anymore,” said Broussard. “I would welcome death so I wouldn’t have to remember what I did.”
Several other testimony came from coworkers at West Orange Stark, friends and family. The witnesses had similar testimonies that described him as a good person who made a terrible mistake. Coach Cornel Thompson also talked about how Broussard worked well with the students and athletes.
During cross examination Prosecutor Mike Marion told the courthouse if Broussard was a good role model he would have stopped after he hit the two victims. Marion also addressed Broussard telling him he would not be in a bad situation if he stopped his car.
“I think I panicked, I accept it I know what you’re trying to do and I know I’m guilty,” said Broussard.
Other witnesses testified earlier in the morning who were with Lewis and Newhouse when the accident happened.
Neosha Weathers said she saw Ava and LaMya get hit by a car as they crossed the street. She was very emotional when she talked about seeing her friends lying on the ground motionless.
Keiasis Chatman was the next witness on the stand who is also friends with Ava and LaMya. She said she heard a loud boom then saw Ava and LaMya fly through the air. Chatman told the judge she moved LaMya’s body to the side of the road.
During testimony the defense attorney Paul Fukuda told the judge Lewis was intoxicated during the time of the accident. He explained she was three time over the legal limit and also had marijuana in her system.
Before the judge gave his sentence he emphasized Broussard is not charged with the deaths of Lewis and Newhouse but police charged with leaving the scene without giving aid.
Broussard, who was indicted on the charges in July 2016, had faced up to 40 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.