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Drunk driver gets 11.5 years on manslaughter charge

The horrific death of a member of the Navy on Interstate 10 in Florida has led to a prison sentence of more than 11 years for a local woman. The woman previously pleaded no contest to DUI manslaughter in connection with the deadly car accident, which cost the life of the 33-year-old husband and father of two.

In April, the defendant, 26, rear-ended the victim’s car while allegedly going 92 miles per hour. The force of impact forced the victim’s car to turn over several times as it went across the interstate, coming to rest on the westbound side. He was ejected from his car and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, the defendant only stopped briefly before trying to escape the scene. Her minivan eventually broke down, and she was arrested. Sheriff’s deputies measured her blood-alcohol level at more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.

At the recent sentencing hearing, the victim’s family, friends and Navy colleagues asked the judge to impose a lengthy sentence. They noted his military service and the family he left behind. His widow said that the defendant has not fully expressed remorse for her actions. She called the defendant a “criminal,” despite the defendant’s denials.

The defendant faced up to 30 years in prison. The judge sentenced her to 11.5 years. Without knowing the judge’s thinking, it is possible that the woman being a mother could have influenced his decision. An article about the case does not mention if the victim’s family is pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit against her.

Source: Pensacola News Journal, “Milton woman gets 11 years in fatal DUI hit-and-run,” Kevin Robinson, Feb. 20, 2014

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