Driver sentenced to 25 years for crash that killed daughter

A woman who apparently caused a fatal crash after speeding through a red light has been sentenced to 25 years in prison. The woman had been fleeing police in what an assistant state attorney calls a “crime spree.”

The car accident killed the woman’s daughter and injured the driver of the vehicle she hit. She pleaded no contest, after initially filing the same plea last September and withdrawing it. This time, the judge made sure she was comfortable with her plea to avoid any further complications, according to the Walton Sun.

The crash happened last July after the woman apparently had tried to cash a stolen check. She had apparently over $4,000 worth of checks and credit charges she attempted to pocket in 2011. She had also allegedly been arrested at some point last year for selling Roxicodone.

The woman had previously spent time in prison before her “crime spree,” as the assistant state attorney calls it. The same attorney had requested a 30-year-sentence, but the judge settled on 25 years.

While many agree that the woman did not intend to hurt anyone, the attorney made an interesting statement about her punishment. According to the Walton Sun, he says, “The state’s position is sometimes making a reckless act is equivalent to making an intentional act.”

The judge noted that the woman had passed up every opportunity she had been given since the first time she was sentenced in 2005. Sadly, her actions ultimately claimed her daughter’s life.

Source: Walton Sun, “Updated: Courtney Coughlin pleads no contest, sentenced,” Chris Olwell, Jan. 3, 2012