The man charged with involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with the death of a 19-year-old Williamsburg resident this month is no stranger to traffic court.

Matthew Ray Burch, 35, of Quinton in New Kent County, had racked up a laundry list of moving violations in three counties, including two DUIs, before being charged in the fatal April 10 wreck. For those offenses - both misdemeanors - Burch served a total of 15 days in jail and had his license revoked for four years.

Since 2001, Burch has been convicted in Henrico, New Kent and Hanover counties. His convictions include at least nine speeding offenses, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, multiple counts of driving without a license, driving with a suspended license, failure to obey a traffic light and driving without a seat belt. The most recent charges are in connection with a fatal wreck late on April 10 on Richmond Road, near New Kent County.

Christopher V. Mellis, 19, of Williamsburg. was killed when his 1996 Chrysler Cirrus, traveling south on Richmond Road near Barnes Road, was hit head-on by a 2002 Jeep Liberty. He was pronounced dead at the scene when police and medics arrived shortly before midnight.

Burch was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter and his third DUI, both felonies. He also faces misdemeanor drug possession charges. He is being held at the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail without bond.

Mellis' mother, Donna, said her first inclination when she learned of her son's death was to seek Burch out and ask him if he understood the consequences of his actions. After learning of his criminal record, she said a confrontation isn't necessary.

"I feel for his family deeply, but when you make a mistake, you need to learn from your mistake," Mellis said Tuesday.

"At first I needed to know that he understood that our son's life has been taken, that he understood exactly what had happened," Mellis said. "Now that I know all this about him, I don't need to ask him that anymore. I know that he is the kind of person that only thinks of himself."

Details of Burch's two DUI convictions, including whether crashes or injuries were involved, were not immediately available.

The first came in May 2001, when Burch was charged with driving drunk in Virginia Beach. He was convicted that August and sentenced to six months in jail, with all but 10 days suspended, and a $250 fine. His driver's license was suspended for a year beginning Aug. 22, 2001.

Burch was arrested on Dec. 11, 2003, and charged with driving under the influence in Henrico. The following March, he was found guilty and sentenced to a year behind bars with all but five days suspended, according to court records. He was ordered to pay a $500 fine, plus court costs, and his license was suspended for three years, ending in March 2007.

Burch's first court appearance on the latest charges is set for next month. Mellis' parents said they have confidence in how the commonwealth's attorney for James City will handle this case. For now, they are taking stock of their loss and are learning more about their son in death than they ever knew while he was alive, said Jerry Mellis, Christopher's father.

"We are finding things out about our son that are amazing," he said. "His friends have told us how he was someone who you could talk to directly, and he was an excellent listener. He was the type of person that would drop anything to help another person."

Whatever happens to Burch, Donna Mellis said the lesson of her son's death "needs to stop someone else from dying this way," she said.

The Mellis house has grown quiet since her son's funeral. Donna Mellis said she has hit a "bad couple of days."

"I keep seeing the door open, and I expect to see my son and have him say, 'Fooled you, Mom.' "

HISTORY OF DUI

Matthew Ray Burch has been convicted of two DUIs and multiple moving violations in New Kent, Henrico and Hanover counties and in Virginia Beach:

No. 1: Convicted in Virginia Beach in August 2001

No. 2: Convicted in Henrico County in March 2004

No. 3: Charged in James City this month; first court appearance scheduled for May

From 2001 to 2009: Multiple speeding offenses, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, multiple counts of driving without a license, driving while license suspended and failure to obey a traffic light