Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced that today Anthony Sudduth (age 48), of Narragansett, pleaded nolo contendere to DUI resulting in serious bodily injury and driving to endanger resulting in injury for the May 9, 2018 DUI crash that seriously injured seven-year-old Haylee Molina in Warwick. In addition, Sudduth admitted he was in violation of a 2016 domestic violence conviction at the time of the crash. The plea took place in Kent County Superior Court before Justice Bennett R. Gallo.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Sudduth was sentenced to a total of 15 years with six years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation on the DUI and driving to endanger charges, plus an additional five years to serve on the probation violation, for a total sentence of 15 years with 11 years to serve and the remainder suspended with probation. In addition, Sudduth lost his license for five years and must undergo alcohol counseling.
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove that on May 9, 2018 at approximately 6 p.m., the defendant was operating a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed in a residential neighborhood in Warwick when he failed to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of King Street and Greenwich Avenue, striking seven-year-old Haylee Molina as she was crossing the street on her scooter. The defendant then crashed the motor vehicle through a fence into a park where it came to a stop approximately 100 yards from the roadway. The defendant exited his vehicle and attempted to leave the scene on foot but was detained by bystanders.
Once on scene, Warwick Police immediately noticed signs of intoxication. The defendant failed field sobriety tests and was subsequently transported to the hospital to have blood drawn. Blood analysis determined the defendant's blood alcohol content to be .380, nearly five times the legal limit, at the time of the crash.
"Every single motor vehicle crash in which alcohol or drugs are a factor are one hundred percent avoidable. This defendant chose to get behind the wheel drunk, and as a result of his actions, nearly killed an innocent seven-year-old girl. Thankfully, with the care of great doctors and the love and support of family and friends, Haylee is on the long road to recovery," said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
The Warwick Police conducted the investigation and Special Assistant Attorney General Peter Roklan prosecuted the case on behalf of the Office of the Attorney General.