Man gets 25 years in DUI killing of Belhaven football player

Man gets 25 years in DUI killing of Belhaven football player

Published Nov. 19, 2015 4:07 p.m. ET

BRANDON, Miss. (AP) A Mississippi man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to drunken driving and killing a college football player who was riding a bicycle home from work last Christmas Eve.

Reginald Davis, 30, of Richland, admitted to drinking at least six beers before striking and killing Elbert Rich III, said district attorney Michael Guest.

Rich, known as Trey, was hit by a pickup truck as he rode his bicycle home from work at FedEx in the Jackson, Mississippi, suburb of Richland. He died at the scene. The 26-year-old senior from Memphis, Tennessee, was a wide receiver for the Belhaven University Blazers in Jackson.

''This young man, who was working to put himself through college, was cut down by the selfish act of Davis driving drunk,'' Guest said in a news release Thursday.


Davis was on probation at the time of the accident because he was convicted of two counts of automobile burglary in Rankin County in 2012, Guest said.

A witness told officers he had seen Davis driving quickly and erratically before the Christmas Eve accident, Guest said. A laboratory report showed Davis had a blood-alcohol content of nearly 0.14 percent, significantly higher than the 0.08 percent limit at which someone can be charged with DUI in Mississippi.

After her son was killed, Cecelia Rich told WMC-TV that he was her ''faith cheerleader'' who always had an encouraging word.

''I thank God for my son, and if he chose him as his Christmas gift this year, it's my honor that he chose somebody so remarkable,'' she said then.

Belhaven assistant coach Gene Hudson said Elbert Rich was known for a positive, upbeat attitude that inspired the other players.