Florida Woman To Serve Unusual Sentence In Death Of NCSU Student
Posted April 16, 2003 1:28 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — A woman who struck and killed a North Carolina State University student last year began serving an unusual sentence Tuesday.
Police said Jennifer Robinson, 23, was driving a Ford Explorer and failed to make a turn, ran off the road and into the driveway in the 200 block of Brooks Avenue in September. She struck and killed Scott Brown, 23, a senior at N.C. State.
Robinson was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Brown's death.
The night of the accident, Robinson she said she was so drunk she did not remember anything. Judge Evelyn Hill is making sure Robinson never forgets.
"'Ms. Robinson', I said, 'You did a terrible thing, but you are not a terrible person,'" Hill said.
Instead of a 17-month jail term, the judge sentenced Robinson to three years probation, but she must spend key dates, including Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, and Brown's birthday, in jail.
"By sentencing her to spend time in jail when she would normally be with her family, because the Browns will only have an empty grave to visit, that's a punishment," prosecutor Jeff Cruden said.
"She needs to live her life not only for her, but for the Brown family. Scott won't be able to make those decisions and so it's up to her to live a life that will make her family and the Browns proud," said Russell DeMent, Robinson's attorney.
DeMent agrees with the sentence, and said it was clear in the courtroom that the victim's family did not want her to spend years in prison.
"The people on the other side were distressed and distraught that their child had been taken from them , but they didn't exhibit any anger towards her. It was remarkable," he said.
DeMent said Robinson has returned to her hometown of Gainesville, Fla., where she intends to serve the terms of her probation.