A man previously convicted of a deadly hit-and-run earlier in 2019, was in court Wednesday, Sept. 11 and admitted to a new DUI offense he committed while he was on bail pending the appeal of an earlier vehicular manslaughter conviction.
56-year-old Rockey Burch was in Butte County Superior Court where he plead no contest to driving under the influence of drugs after a collision on June 29, 2019.
Previously Burch was found guilty for vehicular manslaughter, hit-and-run, and violation of felony probation.
Burch had been sentenced to one year in jail on May 1, 2019, for the manslaughter conviction, he was released on bail pending the appeal of that conviction on May 8, 2019.
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District Attorney Mike Ramsey said on June 29, 2019, less than two months after being sentenced, Burch drove his truck under the influence of drugs.
In this most recent offense, Burch drove off the roadway, collided with fencing and small trees. A witness stated that Burch was spinning the wheels of the truck trying to leave the collision, but he was unable to leave the scene due to a broken axel.
Burch made a familiar claim to CHP that a car was driving toward him and he had to drive off the roadway to avoid the car.
Blood tests proved that Burch was under the influence of both prescription drugs and marijuana.
Ramsey said in a press release that when Burch entered his no-contest plea on Sept. 11, the judge revoked his earlier bail on appeal. Burch now faces an additional 3 years in state prison for the violation of his previous felony probation, in addition to one year in jail for the manslaughter, hit-and-run case, and six months in jail for the DUI.
Burch has been in jail since the DUI arrest. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30, 2019.