A sentencing hearing held Friday forced the judge to try and find balance in a tragic accident.
Anissa Northrup pleaded guilty to driving drunk and to leaving the scene of a fatal accident, but the evidence suggests 26-year old Nate Gatchell may have contributed to the awful outcome as well, and that fact seems to have spared Northrup a stint behind bars.
The 34-year old Northrup got four years, but all the jail time was suspended.
Last April 15th, while she was driving down Broadway at 2 a.m., the 26-year old Gatchell walked in front of the vehicle, and was struck and killed.
Northrup was in trouble because her blood alcohol level was two and a half times the legal limit, but her biggest blunder has to do with the fact she never stopped to see what happened.
Her lawyer says the judge got it right.
” The investigative team came to the conclusion that although Ms.Northrup had been drinking, she was driving her vehicle, she was not operating that vehicle in a manner that caused, or was the ultimate cause, of the death of the victim,” said defense attorney Quinton Ellis.
” The punishment is her remembering what happened for the rest of her life. That’s more than a ‘C’ felony can ever give to her. But I think it’s fair and I think everything will settle down now,” said Matthew Smith, Gatchell’s cousin.
There was also discussion in court, suggesting Gatchell was a young man of strong character. But for him, there will be no second chances.
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