PB woman pleads guilty in deadly 2012 accident

A Pine Bluff woman was sentenced to prison Monday after pleading guilty to charges that stemmed from a 2012 accident that resulted in the death of a White Hall man.

An agreement between prosecutors and the attorney for LaShaun Chidester, 41, allowed her to plead guilty to negligent homicide and she was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Circuit Judge Jodi Raines Dennis.

Chidester also admitted violating conditions of her probation on a previous conviction for second-degree battery and was sentenced to six years in prison, with the two sentences to run at the same time.

The accident occurred Nov. 23, 2012. According to the police report, Chidester was driving north on Dollarway Road when her vehicle collided with a car driven by Jason Rouse, 28, of Pine Bluff at the intersection of Dollarway Road and Norman Street. Rouse was westbound on Norman Street.

A passenger in Rouse’s vehicle, Ricky Brooks Jr., 24, was taken to Jefferson Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

A second passenger in Rouse’s vehicle, Janeka Stacker, 18, of Pine Bluff was injured, as were Rouse and Chidester, and all three were taken to the hospital where they were treated and released.

Chidester also had been charged with DWI but Deputy Prosecutor Jill Reed said that charge was merged with the DWI.

Chidester will receive credit for the time she spent in jail before being released on bond on the DWI charge.

According to the accident report from police Traffic Officer Derrell Ray, it was raining and the roadway was wet when the accident occurred.

If Chidester had gone to trial and been convicted, she could have been sentenced to between five and 20 years in prison on the charge of negligent homicide, now a Class B felony.

Reed and Deputy Prosecutor Bryan Achorn represented the state and Chidester was represented by attorney Garfield Bloodman.