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Raleigh woman pleads guilty, gets prison time for I-440 crash

Posted March 30

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— A Raleigh woman pleaded guilty Wednesday morning to second-degree murder in connection with a crash on Interstate 440 in January 2015.

"I just want to say I'm sorry," Kiera Jo Sprouse told a judge.

"This was not a mistake," prosecutor Jason Waller said, pointing to the fact that Sprouse was going 115 mph at the time of the crash and fled the scene after hitting ‚Äčthe rear of Thomas John Anstey's motorcycle. Anstey, 50, died at the scene. "This was an intentional act by the defendant to put not only Mr. Antsey but other individuals of Wake County in danger that night."

When police arrested Sprouse at her apartment 10 miles away about two hours later, court documents indicate, she had a blood-alcohol content of 0.13.

Her attorney, Bill Young, acknowledged that Sprouse had two previous DWI convictions.

"Obviously, Miss Sprouse had a developing addiction clear from two prior DWI occurrences. But what happened on this night can happen to any young person partying who has too much too drink and doesn't have the judgment to make that decision to not get in that car and not to ultimately kill that person," Young said.

Sprouse, of 10610-404 Westgate Club Drive, also pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run and driving while impaired. She was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, but will get credit for the 14 months she's already served.

Antsey was an IT specialist for Caterpiller and moved to the Triangle from Wisconsin. His family was in court Wednesday morning.


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  • Bill Stoudenmire Mar 31, 2016
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    I can see the points all have made here. I tend to come down on the 1st degree murder because I don't really see a difference between a person that gets drunk, makes a decision to get into their vehicle, and drive and the drunk person shooting another while intoxicated. I realize that this penalty will never be imposed. So the idea of repaying the family does make sense.

  • Norman Lewis Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    One DWI might be a mistake, 2 DWI's is very foolish, 3 DWI's is "I don't care". 15 years is common for second degree murder but I think with the aggravating circumstances of multiple alcohol offenses, she should get no time off and serve the whole term of 15 years. After all, John Anstey got a death sentence and he was innocent, why should she get off easier? Driving while impaired means you have a disregard for human life and deserve no breaks.

  • Chad Johnson Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    Not long enough!

  • Derril Salter Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    I don't care how old you are, after two priors there is no excuse. None. This young lady obviously problems that extends way beyond her desire to drunk alcohol. Her driving privileges likely were already permanently suspended, if not, they should be.

  • Sean Creasy Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    Put a satellite badge monitor on her, get her into rehab, and garnish her wages by a hefty percentage
    Read more at http://www.wral.com/raleigh-woman-pleads-guilty-gets-prison-time-for-i-440-crash/15608849/#VeJbVRDRvru5drFH.99.... You are wrong in this instance... She had her chances to rehabilitate after her last TWO DWI's, but it seems that what she is really suffering from is not alcoholism but rather an over enlarged sense of entitlement.. She needs to serve at least 1/2 of her actual sentence but with the way our wonderful correctional system works nowadays she'll be out in maybe a year and a half or so...Pathetic.....

  • Jim Halbert Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    I can agree punishment should be harsh. But it's kind of weird to demand DWI related deaths be specifically classified as being the exact same thing as "premeditated murder". Because premeditated murder has a specific definition, a death either fits that definition or it doesn't. It's pretty cut and dry. An imbecile loaded up on booze trying to drive home and hitting someone, while awful and deserving of big prison time, doesn't fit the definition of "wrongfully and intentionally causing the death of another human being (also known as murder) after rationally considering the timing or method of doing so, in order to either increase the likelihood of success, or to evade detection or apprehension.". You can feel free to wish premeditated murder and DWI manslaughter carried the same prison sentence, no one would fault you there, but adamantly arguing that they should be defined as the same exact type of crime is pretty silly.

  • Johnathan Gault Mar 30, 2016
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    Oh heck Edward why don't you just take her out back and shoot her. If you give the judicial system the authoritative power you want them to have, they will abuse it and kill the innocent.

    We are so ignorant in how we punish. Put a satellite badge monitor on her, get her into rehab, and garnish her wages by a hefty percentage and send the proceeds to the victim's family. Warehousing people just provides a revenue stream to the government. I do not want to pay to clothe and feed her. Making the guilty pay back the victim's heirs is more just. What we have here, is just perpetuation of societal "clown think."

  • Edward Anderson Mar 30, 2016
    user avatar

    No one will ever be able to convince me that when you drive drunk and kill someone, that is not premeditated murder. I think it deserves Murder 1 charges and consequences, not this piddley little "up to 15 year" sentence. SMH