- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 6, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - A Raleigh man has pleaded guilty to charges in a wreck that killed a couple last year.

Ray Norman Rouse IV, 35, pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of driving while impaired. He was sentenced to between 10 and 14 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Ormond Jackson Bailey, 83, and his wife, Gaynell Batton Bailey, 79, were on their way home from church when their car was struck by Rouse, who was driving the wrong way.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Waller said Rouse had been drinking at a Sunday brunch before the wreck. Waller said other drivers saw Rouse ignore a “No Left Turn” sign and drive west in the eastbound lanes.

Rouse’s blood-alcohol content was 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08 percent in North Carolina.

William W. Plyler, an attorney representing the Bailey family, said they supported the plea because they wanted closure that a trial and any appeals might delay. Plyler read a letter from the Baileys’ daughter, Donna B. Lewis, and their son, Jackie G. Bailey.

“We loved our parents very much, as did all members of our family,” they stated in the letter. “They were great people and role models for everyone who was lucky enough to know them. This has been very difficult for our entire family. We know it also has been difficult for Mr. Rouse and his family. We appreciate Mr. Rouse pleading guilty so we do not have to endure trial.”

Before the hearing, Rouse’s father and stepmother approached the Bailey family and apologized. Rouse did not speak at the hearing.

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