Benjamin Joseph Desjardine, 43, was sentenced today, after being found guilty following a trial in November, in a DUI Manslaughter case in Glades County.
On Count 1, DUI Manslaughter, he was sentenced to 14 years in prison, with 4 years as a minimum mandatory. He was also sentenced to one year of probation after incarceration. The terms of probation include the permanent revocation of his driver’s license, attending a DUI school, 50 hours of community service, the payment of court costs and the cost of prosecution, and no alcohol consumption.
On Count 2, DUI Manslaughter, he received the same sentence as Count 1, to be served consecutively. So that is a total of a 28-year prison sentence.
On Counts 3-5, DUI Damage – Person/Property, he was sentenced to one year of probation on each count to run concurrent to the probation on Counts 1 and 2.
Assistant State Attorney Mara Marzano of the State Attorney’s Office Homicide Unit and Assistant State Attorney William Dorman III, Felony Chief of the Hendry and Glades County offices, prosecuted the case.
The crime happened on January 4, 2018, when the defendant was temporarily working in Glades County. He was a resident of Iowa, Louisiana. The defendant drove his 2005 Dodge Ram truck into oncoming traffic on County Road 721. This caused another driver, to swerve, to avoid the truck, then hit a guardrail. The defendant continued driving in the wrong lane and crashed into another car, with two occupants. The defendant’s truck then flipped over and came to a rest.
A 20-year-old woman, not involved in the crash, stopped to help, but got hit by a truck swerving to avoid the crashed vehicles and was critically injured. A 55-year-old and 71-year-old, both from Lehigh Acres, who were in the car hit by the defendant, died in the crash.
The Florida Highway Patrol investigated the crash scene. Desjardine’s blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office