Philadelphia man convicted in DUI deaths of 6, including five children

September 26, 2013 in News, Top Stories

Duane John Sr. was convicted of DUI-manslaughter in the deaths of six people, including his five children, after crashing a Dodge Durango into a creek near Philadelphia, Miss., last December. Courtesy Photo

OXFORD, Mississippi (AP) — A Philadelphia man will serve 75 years in prison after being convicted of six counts of DUI/manslaughter in the deaths of his five children and an adult family friend last year.

Prosecutors said Duane John Sr., 34, was sentenced Wednesday by Circuit Judge Marcus Gordon to 15 years on each count to run consecutively for a total 90 years. Fifteen years were suspended leaving 75 to serve.

He was tried in Lafayette County Circuit Court in Oxford on a change of venue.

John was indicted last May in the deaths of his children: Daisyanna John, 9; Duane John Jr., 8; Bobby John, 7; Quinton John, 4; and Kekambas John, 18 months; and family friend Diane Chickaway, 37.

The six died on Dec. 29, 2012, when the Dodge Durango in which they were traveling in left the roadway and was submerged in a creek near the Neshoba-Newton County line about 20 miles southwest of Philadelphia.

John, the driver, the children’s mother, Deanna Jim, 28, and Dale Chickaway, 37, escaped serious injury in the incident.

John was charged two days later after being released from the hospital where he had been treated for hypothermia.

All of the victims were members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and lived in the Pearl River community.