Driver who plowed into Mardi Gras crowd to be released early

July 5, 2018

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A man sentenced in January for drunkenly plowing his truck into a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade crowd is to be released later this month, despite a five-year sentence.

Authorities say Neilson Rizzuto benefits from a 2017 Louisiana prison reform law that allows the release of well-behaved inmates who have served 35 percent of their sentences for nonviolent crimes.

Rizzuto was sentenced to five years with one year suspended for the crash that injured 32 people last year. He also was given credit for nearly 11 months already served.

New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, citing information from state corrections officials, says Rizzuto’s expected release date is July 20.

Cannizzaro and some victims of the 2017 crash have been critical of what they deemed a lenient sentence.