Family's forgiveness means lighter sentence in fatal DWI wreck
Posted April 4, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — 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.
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."