Local News

Family's forgiveness means lighter sentence in fatal DWI wreck

Posted April 4, 2013

— The family of a Raleigh man who was killed when a drunk driver slammed into his car in December 2011 say they agreed to a plea deal sparing the driver from a lengthy prison sentence as an act of forgiveness.

"We have been young, too. And you make mistakes when you are young," said Darryl Page of the woman responsible for the crash that killed his stepson, Dewahne Ahmad Tyler.

Elizabeth Lorene Stevens, 22, pleaded guilty Thursday to felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired. As part of the plea deal, she was sentenced to 6 months in jail and 36 months probation.

Judge G.W. Abernathy said similar cases often lead to prison sentences of several years.

"You have taken away something from them, yet they have given you a gift," Abernathy told Stevens in court. 

Prosecutors say Stevens was at a party on the night before her 21st birthday when she T-boned Tyler, 32, at the intersection of Lead Mine and Lynn roads in Raleigh. Witnesses described her as heavily intoxicated. A text message on her phone suggested that she planned to drink herself into a coma, investigators said.

Elizabeth Stevens Family offers forgiveness to driver in fatal DWI wreck

Page said the devastation of the wreck goes beyond Tyler's death.

"This did not just kill one person. It destroyed a whole lot of lives," Page said. "I can still hear them say in the hospital, 'Dewahne didn't make it.'"

Tyler was a father of four who was studying criminal justice after serving in the Navy. 

Stevens' attorney told the court Thursday that she was very remorseful about the crash, but Page said he was disappointed by her demeanor.

"I do not see any remorse on her face or at all from her," he said. "I guess we will never actually get over it."


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  • Lightfoot3 Apr 8, 2013

    "Family's forgiveness means lighter sentence in fatal DWI wreck" - article

    In other words, she'll be back on the road driving near YOUR family in the near future.

  • Jimmytwotimes Apr 8, 2013

    remember the guy who ran over like 5 people after an nc state football game on trinity road? he got 20years. How in the world do you justify giving this brat 6 months??

  • Jimmytwotimes Apr 8, 2013

    6 months really!! Thats not justice at all, especially with that unremmorseful look on her face. She made all those decisions that night and was an adult and knew the possibilities and consequences. Its one thing to drive drunk, but to be ignorant enough to speed at 80mph is ridiculous. what a slap in the face to people who have commited way way less severe crimes but had to do more time. she did not learn from this, she'll be back in jail in a couple years.

  • babedan Apr 8, 2013

    She wasn't even of legal age to drink, The article said it was the night before he 21st Birthday. Therefore, she had no respect for the law to begin with, and then to give her a slap on the wrist. I bet she thinks she was wronged having to serve 6 monts. I wonder how much her family paid her attorney and how much they gave to the DA for re-election to get such a light sentence. This is twice we have seen a DWI get 6 months for a life. Once a child getting on a school bus, now and adult. Nice to know people in this state are worthless isn't it?

  • babedan Apr 8, 2013

    Let's see, Family says we are sorry so the court says let her out to do it again sooner than what the law allows. The courts in this state are a joke when it comes to death by DWI. I wonder if that is because the judges drink and drive all the time and they may end up in front of another judge one of these days.

  • itsmyownopinion Apr 5, 2013

    "Stevens' attorney told the court Thursday that she was very remorseful about the crash, but Page said he was disappointed by her demeanor."

    That's a real shame if she's not really remorseful. I hope she's learned from this and doesn't become a repeat offender. I wonder if she thought she wouldn't get anything other than probation.

  • iamarmed Apr 5, 2013

    just tragic that she only got 6 months........ what was that judge thinking...maybe next time it will b his relative....

  • sjb2k1 Apr 5, 2013

    lol kill someone get 6 months, sell some weed get 6 years

  • sendusmessage Apr 5, 2013

    It was very kind, what that poor family did.

    However, I agree with them that she showed no remorse at all, and I'm guessing she still has learned nothing from this.

    If she hits my family in the future, we won't be so kind.

  • UNCRedhead1 Apr 5, 2013

    Remember Ray Rouse? Oh yeah, we still don't know the update of this guy yet. I guess he's "still in the hospital"?? But he's the one who killed the couple on St. Patty's day a couple weeks ago. He already had previous DWI's. She will probably kill again because the laws and justice system does not take drinking and driving seriously.

    They said in the news yesterday that the House was meeting to discuss DWI's.... HAHAH! What a joke! This is a prime example of how unserious we take this crime. She gets no punishment at all. When will we have a set sentence(years and yaers and years in jail_ for people who kill thanks do drinking an ddriving?