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DC Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner pleads guilty months after deadly DUI crash

Devon Lesesne entered guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter for the death of 20-year-old Katherine Reyes.

FAIRFAX, Va. — D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Devon Lesesne pleaded guilty in a deadly DUI wreck in Fairfax County. 

Lesesne entered a guilty plea to involuntary manslaughter in the Fairfax County General District Court on Wednesday. 

Lesesne, an elected official who also served as the vice president of the DC Young Democrats, was driving under the influence in March when he struck and killed 20-year-old Katherine Reyes.

Police said Reyes was stranded on the side of I-495 near Telegraph Road due to a flat tire when she was hit. Virginia State Police said Reyes already had flares set up behind her vehicle and hazard lights flashing. 

The impact caused her car to burst into flames. 

Lesesne was recently elected chairperson for Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8D at the time of the crash. 

His sentencing is scheduled on March 10. Lesesne could face up to 10 years in prison. 

"It's been painful on a day-to-day basis," mother Esmeralda Reyes told WUSA9 hours after the guilty plea. "He deserves to pay for his actions. My daughter is gone so I would never feel a sense of relief."

When he was first indicted in October, Lesesne still held the title of commissioner, but other commissioners have taken over his legislative duties since the crash. 

"This is a tragic incident that could have been avoided, and our hearts break for the family of this young woman,” Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Descano said. “There are no winners in this situation. I am committed to working toward accountability in a manner that promotes healing for the family and our wider community."

Reyes' family said while the guilty plea is a glimmer of justice, it is not enough to heal their pain. They hope the judge will not grant him credit for time already served.

"She was everyone's light and that's gone," Esmeralda Reyes said. "She always made everyone smile even on a bad day."

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