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Chronic drunk driver has parole revoked

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:15 p.m. HST, Sep 6, 2012

The Hawaii Paroling Authority revoked the parole of a convicted chronic DUI offender, Kenneth Richard Leigh, who was convicted of killing two passengers in his car in a 1994 Kauai traffic accident, Kauai County prosecutors said.

Leigh, 50, was convicted of negligent homicide, driving under the influence, driving without a license, speeding and other traffic violations. A judge sentenced him to 25 years in prison. He was released on parole in 2007 to Maryland, where his parents live. But was arrested for driving under the influence on May 6, 2011, and was convicted and sentenced to a year in jail in October 2011.

After serving his jail time, Leigh was extradited back to Hawaii for today’s parole hearing.

Kauai Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri-Carvaloho submitted letters from family members of the victims in th 1994 accident.

The sister of one of the victims wrote: “Kenneth Leigh’s history, in addition to his most recent violation, indicates that he is a danger. Please do not allow him to hurt anyone else!”

Leigh was legally drunk when he lost control of his car and hit a telephone poll around midnight on Feb. 22, 1994. A male passenger suffered permanent spinal injuries and two female passengers died in the crash.

His license had previously been revoked in New Jersey for three separate DUI convictions in the 1980s and his license had been revoked on Oahu in 1993 for a DUI conviction.

Leigh’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender John Ikenaga, asked that Leigh be be paroled back to Maryland to live with his mother. Leigh claimed that he had gone to dinner at a friend’s house last year and drank punch, which he didn’t know was spiked. 

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