Man charged with killing friend in drunk driving crash gets emotional in court

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He's accused of taking his friends on a drunken joy ride that ended when he slammed the car into a tree.

One man was killed and another badly injured early Tuesday morning. Now the 23-year old behind the wheel is facing a long list of charges as one man was killed, another badly injured.

Judge: "Count 1 reckless driving causing death maximum of 15 years. Count 2 - operating while intoxicated causing death, 15 years."

As the judge reads the charges for Levontae Choice, reality sets in.

Judge: "Count 3 operating with a suspended license causing death, 15 years. Count 4, reckless driving causing serious impairment of bodily functions, five years.". 

And for Choice, the 23-year-old becomes emotional as he learns what he's up against.

"Count 5 operating while intoxicated causing serious injury, five years. Operating with a suspended license causing serious impairment, five years."

Police say Choice was the driver of a car and was intoxicated while taking two others for a joy-ride when it crashed into a tree at Ewald Circle and San Juan in Detroit at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.

The impact killed the backseat passenger, Jamal Lawrence. 

FOX 2 spoke with Lawrence's mother the morning of the crash.

"Mothers aren't supposed to bury their children," said Shelethia Brown. "And he's adopted."

The other passenger, 18-year-old Jaleel Williams was taken to the hospital with a broken arm and other non-life threatening injuries. Injuries that are now criminal charges against Choice.  He suffered superficial injuries to the face but otherwise appeared unharmed in the crash.

Choice is being held on a $10,000 bond.