5-year sentence for driver who plowed into parade crowd

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NEW ORLEANS – A man jailed after drunkenly plowing his pickup truck into a crowd of New Orleans parade-goers last year faces roughly three more years behind bars.

Twenty-six-year-old Neilson Rizzuto was sentenced Friday for the accident that injured more than 30 people along the route of the popular Endymion parade during last year's Mardi Gras season.

State District Judge Ben Willard sentenced Rizzuto to five years, but suspended one year and gave credit for about 11 months already served.

Rizzuto pleaded guilty to 11 felony and 14 misdemeanor counts in October at a hearing marked by emotional testimony from victims injured in the Feb. 25 crash.

New Orleans news outlets report that Willard also ordered Rizzuto to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and Mothers Against Drunk Driving meetings, and write apologies to victims.

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