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Woman pleads guilty to murder in fatal high-speed crash

Posted May 3

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— A Johnston County woman was sentenced Tuesday to 10 to 13 years in prison for a high-speed, head-on collision last year that killed a Middlesex man.

Amanda Leighann Allen, 21, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the Jan. 11, 2016, death of Louis Brandon Howell.

Howell, 25, was driving home from work on N.C. Highway 42 near Kenly when Allen's Dodge Challenger slammed into his pickup, killing him, authorities said.

State Highway Patrol troopers said Allen, who was pregnant at the time, was driving 100 mph and had smoked marijuana and snorted the painkiller Percocet before getting behind the wheel.

"This defendant engaged in behavior that was willful, reckless and in total disregard for human life," Johnston County District Attorney Susan Doyle said in a statement. "It is important to send a message that driving while impaired and driving at a high rate of speed will not be tolerated. As citizens of Johnston County, we deserve to feel secure as we drive on our highways."

Superior Court Judge W. Douglas Parsons ordered Allen to undergo substance abuse treatment in prison.

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