Drunk driver who killed Malik Sealy gets another DUI

Updated: October 18, 2006, 12:56 AM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- New drunk driving charges have been filed against the man convicted in the drunken driving accident that killed Malik Sealy of the Minnesota Timberwolves in May 2000.

Souksangouane Phengsene, 50, of Shakopee, was arrested in Crystal early Sunday and was charged with felony drunk driving Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court.

According to the court file, Phengsene was driving in an erratic manner, weaving in and out of lanes, and driving on the curb. Court papers say he was tested at the police station and his blood alcohol level registered at 0.21 percent. Minnesota's legal limit is 0.08 percent.

Crystal Police Capt. Dave Oyaas said that when an officer spotted Phengsene swerving and stopped him, "the driver came to almost a complete stop and then drove over a curb as he went into a parking lot."

Phengsene was driving the wrong way on Highway 100 in St. Louis Park when he hit Sealy's vehicle six years ago, killing the 30-year-old athlete, who was returning home after a birthday party for teammate Kevin Garnett. Phengsene had a blood-alcohol level of 0.19 percent then, when the state's legal limit was 0.10 percent. He pleaded guilty to felony criminal vehicular homicide and was sentenced to four years in prison.

Phengsene was also convicted of DWI in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1997.

The new charge is a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, due to Phengsene's prior convictions, officials with the Hennepin County attorney's office said.

If he's convicted this time, the state's sentencing guidelines suggest another four-year sentence due to his prior convictions, the officials said.

Phengsene was being held in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $35,000 bond.

Oyaas said police were glad they stopped Phengsene before anyone else was hurt.

"I think there's even more gratification in that, because that's really what we're trying to do -- we're trying to prevent basically senseless injuries and deaths at the hands of drunk drivers," he said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press