DUI Death of Belhaven Student results in 25 year Prison Sentence

Madison and Rankin Counties’ District Attorney Michael Guest announced today that Reginald Davis was sentenced to serve 25 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Davis pled guilty to a DUI and causing the death of Belhaven student Elbert Rich.

On December 24, 2014, the Richland Police Department contacted the Rankin County Sheriff’s Department about a vehicle striking a cyclist on Old Highway 49. When deputies arrived they came into contact with the victim, Elbert Rich, who was lying next to the roadway. Rich was traveling home from work at approximately 6:30 p.m. when he was struck by a vehicle. Deputies determined Davis had been driving.

A witness told police that he had seen Davis driving prior to the accident and that he was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed. Davis was at the scene receiving medical treatment and officers were able to smell the odor of alcohol coming from his person. Deputies obtained a search warrant to obtain blood from Davis. His blood was collected and sent to the state crime laboratory. Tests determined that Davis’s blood alcohol content was .139. Davis admitted to consuming at least six beers prior to the accident.

Davis was transported to the hospital and following his release was arrested and charged with causing the death of Elbert Rich. It was determined that Davis was on probation at the time of the accident.

Guest stated, “This is a tragic case in which a Belhaven student and football student was killed on Christmas Eve. The victim, Elbert Rich, was returning home from work at FedEx when he was struck by a drunk driver. This young man, who was working to put himself through college, was cut down by the selfish act of Davis driving drunk.”

Guest concluded, “I want to thank all the law enforcement agencies involved for all their hard work, but I especially want to thank Sheriff Bailey and his staff for obtaining a search warrant and securing the blood of Reginald Davis. That evidence, along with the statements, and other physical evidence allowed us to remove a dangerous individual from our roadways. I hope this conviction and sentence will help bring closure to the family of Elbert Rich as they approach the one year anniversary of his death”

Davis has previously been convicted on two counts of automobile burglary in Rankin County in 2012 and was on probation at the time of the accident.

District Attorney Michael Guest was sworn into office in January 2008 and represents the Twentieth Judicial District, Madison and Rankin Counties. For more information regarding the District Attorney’s office, please visit www.daguest.com

Defendant:
Name: Reginald Davis
Address: 212 Parkdale Place, Richland
Date of Birth: 7-26-1985