Massena man sentenced in manslaughter, assault case

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 3:54 PM EST
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CANTON, New York (WWNY) - A Massena man who pleaded guilty to the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian is going to prison.

Blakely Houle was sentenced Tuesday in St. Lawrence County Court to six to 12 years behind bars.

During his trial in June, Houle pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault.

He admitted to recklessly causing the death of 30-year-old James Hayes of Massena by striking him with his minivan on Center Street in Massena on May 29, 2021.

Witnesses and friends of the victim grabbed Houle while he was trying to flee the scene.

“My read on it is that there was a lot of panic involved. It’s a difficult situation,” said defense attorney Bradford Riendeau.

Riendeau says Houle’s autism and being shot at with firecrackers before the deadly accident gives them more reason for appealing the case, which he plans to do.