The Verdict Is In

I’d been waiting for a verdict in the Lindsey Crumpton trial as I was on the witness list due to some comments from the defendant via my feedback form in response to something I originally wrote about the case.  Ultimately I didn’t have to testify, but I was still curious about the verdict.

The Dallas Morning News has an article with the outcome:

A 20-year-old Waxahachie woman who tried to commit suicide in her SUV but instead killed another motorist was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday.

The jury’s maximum sentence stunned Lindsey Crumpton and her supporters, who had pleaded for probation. The punishment verdict came as Ms. Crumpton was having an emotional meeting behind closed doors with the 18-year-old daughter of Kristina Kelly Bartlett, who was killed in the November 2004 crash.

In testimony during her trial, Ms. Crumpton described a history of severe depression and drug use. The one-time Waxahachie High School homecoming queen, cheerleader and college soccer player said she had run out of medication when she decided to kill herself by yanking the steering wheel of her Ford Explorer as she drove south on Interstate 35E.

However, it appears that Ms. Crumpton is still not willing to take responsibility for her actions, even though it appears she knew they were dangerous.

But under cross-examination by prosecutor Trey Crutcher, Ms. Crumpton acknowledged that she knew her actions were dangerous because she purposely left her puppy at home. “I didn’t want my puppy to be killed,” she said.

Mr. Crutcher also questioned why Ms. Crumpton had not jerked the steering wheel to the right, which would have prevented any chance of colliding with another car. She responded that she did not know why she turned her car toward oncoming traffic.

Ms. Crumpton denied that she was directly responsible for the death of Ms. Bartlett, 47, saying that she only set in motion a chain of events that resulted in her death.

The jury of 10 women and two men convicted her of criminally negligent homicide, concluding that a “reasonable person” would have known that her actions were dangerous.

A chain of events?  If she was a butterfly causing a hurricane across the ocean I might buy it.  But her chain only had one link:  the yank of the wheel.  It’s kind of hard to claim you couldn’t forsee the outcome from that particular chain.  Worse, it sounds like she’s trying to claim that she just decided at the last moment, but that is contradicted by leaving the puppy at home, which means that it wasn’t spontaneous.

My mother, who is almost as cynical as I am, thought she would only end up serving a couple of years, but it appears that the law has tightened that loophole a little.  According to the article Ms. Crumpton will have to serve at least five years before being eligible for parole.

I don’t know whether that’s enough time.  Unless Ms. Crumpton does a lot of growing up in that time, I don’t know that it’ll help.  She’s obviously not ready to take responsiblity for her actions.  I hope the parole board asks some pointed questions in this area when she comes up for eligibility.

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