Intoxicated and Distracted Driver Receives 20 Years in Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash

April 21, 2022

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess announced that Guarav “Sonny” Rawal, 38, the owner of Champs Pizza in Glen Burnie, was sentenced to 20 years of active incarceration for negligent manslaughter and failing to remain at the scene of a collision involving in the death of Anthony Jean-Louis, 37.

Rawal was sentenced as a subsequent offender, having two prior driving while impaired cases in 2012 and 2018.

Rawal was intoxicated at the time of the crash, and using the app Snapchat on his phone while driving at an excessive speed, 110 mph, when he slammed into the back of the victim’s car causing him to lose control, overturn and crash into a nearby guardrail.

The defendant entered a guilty plea on December 16, 2021.

“The defendant’s reckless disregard for others is evident by his actions throughout this crime from the level of intoxication, to the excessive speeding, to the use of his cell phone and then leaving the scene of a fatal crash. The most appropriate sentence for this defendant is his removal from our community to protect others,” said State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess. “Mr. Jean-Louis was senselessly killed by an out of control driver and his family has suffered from this unimaginable event.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Carolynn Grammas prosecuted this case on behalf of the citizens of Anne Arundel County.

On February 8, 2021, Anne Arundel County police officers were dispatched to a motor vehicle collision near southbound Route 10 in Glen Burnie. There, officers located a white Jeep with extensive rear end damage and a black Mercedes-Benz with extensive front end damage.

When police officers arrived to the scene, there were no one inside the Mercedes-Benz. Anne Arundel County Fire Department responded to render aid to the sole occupant of the Jeep who suffered extensive injuries due to the crash.

The occupant was declared deceased on scene and later identified as Anthony Jean-Louis.

Mr. Jean-Louis was a retired Cryptologic Network Warfare Specialist in the Army Reserve and Army from May 2001 to November 2016, according to an Army spokesperson.

A preliminary investigation of the scene revealed that the driver of the Mercedes-Benz was traveling 110 mph and talking on his phone and using Snapchat when he struck the rear of the victim’s vehicle. The force of the collision resulted in the victim losing control of his vehicle which then flipped and struck the guardrail on the right side of the roadway. The impact with the guardrail caused fatal injuries to the driver.

Anne Arundel County police officers canvassed the area and located the defendant and driver of the Mercedes-Benz after he attempted to solicit multiple people with cash to take him home. When they made contact with the defendant, who was identified as Guarav Rawal, they observed blood on his clothing and dirt and mud on his pants.

He told the police that he had fallen and hit his head on the sidewalk where he was standing. Police officers observed small particles of glass on the defendant’s face, beard and clothing. DNA testing later confirmed the defendant was the operator of the vehicle.

The defendant was not supposed to be operating any vehicle without an interlock device on his vehicle, a court-ordered condition from his prior driving while impaired conviction. The Mercedes-Benz had no such device installed.

The injuries observed on the defendant were consistent with the injuries expected in a vehicle collision of this nature. While speaking with the defendant, officers detected a faint odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from the defendant. He was then transported to the police department to submit to a breath test where his breath specimen was found to contain an alcohol concentration of .12 which is over the legal limit.

The Honorable Michael Wachs presided over the case