August 10, 2022

Slidell Man Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison for 2 Counts of Vehicular Homicide and
2 Counts of First Degree Vehicular Negligent Injury

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on today, Tuesday, August 9, 2022, Justin Emerson Martindale, 40, of Slidell, Louisiana pled guilty just prior to the scheduled start of his trial and was sentenced shortly afterwards.

Martindale was sentenced by District Judge Ellen Creel to 15 years for each vehicular homicide to run consecutively, and 5 years at hard labor for each first-degree negligent injury, to be run concurrent with the first two charges, for a total of 30 years in prison. The sentences will be served without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. 

On Tuesday, February 18th, 2020, Louisiana State Police responded to a 3-vehicle crash with injuries, on US 190 in Slidell.  Upon arrival two vehicles (Vehicles 1 and 3) were off of the roadway with severe damage in the front of both vehicles. A third vehicle (Vehicle 2) was parked in driveway near the crash with minor damage to its rear. 

Vehicles 1 and 2 had been traveling East on 190 and vehicle 3 was traveling west on 190. Vehicle 1 was traveling behind Vehicle 2. When Vehicle 2 came to a stop due to traffic congestion, the driver of Vehicle 1 struck Vehicle 2’s rear bumper, then continuing across the double yellow lines, and struck Vehicle 3 head-on. 

The driver of vehicle 1 was identified as Justin Martindale.  While the trooper was speaking with Martindale, he detected an odor of an alcohol from Martindale’s breath.  When asked about his consumption of alcohol, the defendant stated that he had consumed a large amount of alcohol the previous night only. 

Five persons from Vehicles 1 and 3 were injured and transported to the hospital.  One front seat passenger from Vehicle 3 was pronounced deceased about two hours after the accident. Another rear seat passenger from Vehicle 3 succumbed to her injuries three days later.  Two other victims required surgery.

While the defendant was being treated for his injuries at the hospital, he was read his Miranda Rights and submitted to a blood draw. The results showed him at .160g% BAC, twice the presumptive level of impairment.  He was later arrested and charged.

The surviving victims and some of the deceased victims’ families were present in court for the plea and supported the terms of the plea.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Jason Cuccia.