Woman accused of causing 2018 Lake County crash that killed 4 women to serve 4 years in prison

·1 min read

Family members of four women killed in a 2018 crash faced the driver accused of hitting them inside a Lake County courtroom on Thursday.

After emotional testimony, a judge accepted a plea deal for Heather Finley, who was accused of causing the crash that killed Sha’Keila Smith, Kambrea Smith, Roslyn Felton and Tierra Chambers.

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The plea deal means she’ll serve four years in prison, instead of the nearly 40 years she faced.

The judge originally didn’t accept the plea when it was presented in April because he said he wanted an investigation into the deal. In the end, he said the deal felt like it was the only way to ensure Finley spent time behind bars.

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Unsealed documents show that both drivers had alcohol in their system, and the judge said those details and others could affect what a jury would decide in this case.

But their families say that sentence amounts to only one year for each life, which is hardly justice.

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“I was 11 years old when my mother was taken away from me and my sister,” Roslyn Felton’s daughter said in court. “Not once have you showed remorse or said you were sorry. … Your apology is no longer needed. All I want is justice for my mom and her friends.”

Finely’s dad apologized and said Finely would work to pay the $200,000 in restitution, but that apology didn’t sit well with the families.

“This is not about money; this is about justice,” a family member said.

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