A Louisville man attempted Wednesday to take back his Alford plea in a fatal traffic accident in Versailles, but a Woodford County judge refused to allow it and sentenced him to the recommended 25 years in prison.
Alfonso Diaz-Diaz, 28, entered the plea in June to murder and other charges stemming from a 2013 drunken-driving collision that killed a 5-year-old Lexington boy. In an Alford plea, a defendant maintains his innocence but pleads guilty because he thinks there is enough evidence for a jury to convict.
Diaz-Diaz also entered an Alford plea on four counts of first-degree assault, two counts of first-degree wanton endangerment, driving under the influence and not having an operator's license.
Diaz-Diaz attempted to take back the plea, saying he didn't understand what he was doing at the time, said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Keith Eardley.
Diaz-Diaz also argued that serving 85 percent of the sentence before he was eligible for parole was too onerous for the offense.
Woodford Circuit Judge Rob Johnson rejected both arguments, and sentenced Diaz-Diaz to 25 years, which was part of the plea deal with prosecutors.
Blake Cohorn, a kindergartner at Harrison Elementary School, died in the April 21, 2013, crash in which Diaz-Diaz was driving west in the eastbound lanes of U.S. 60.
Diaz-Diaz was driving a Volkswagen Jetta that collided with a 1999 Chevrolet Lumina. Injured in the crash were Blake's parents, Wendi and Rocky Cohorn, and Blake's uncle, Danny Cohorn. The family had been visiting relatives in Evansville, Ind., and was driving back to Lexington when the crash happened.
A Versailles police report said that Diaz-Diaz had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath and that a minimum of 12 empty beer bottles were seen in the Jetta. Diaz-Diaz had a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 percent, nearly twice the legal driving limit.
In addition, Diaz-Diaz was seen in an intoxicated state at a rodeo on Pinckard Pike shortly before the crash. He was made to leave the rodeo because he had been causing a disturbance.
Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety.