At 24 years old, former Texas Tech student Jeena Roberts struck and killed a 54-year-old woman while driving with a BAC three times the legal limit. She has just been sentenced to 15 years in prison, with Roberts speaking for herself in a key piece of testimony: the video of her reaction at the time.
Roberts hit Linda Smaltz in a fatal accident in October 2010. In the video she tells an officer, “I’m well aware of what happened.”
"I was driving out of control and was speeding; fast enough to make an accident," Roberts says.
The woman breaks down in sobs when she is told that the woman she hit was killed, and that her daughter, also in the car, was seriously injured.
“Someone died? I killed someone?" she says in disbelief.
But then she becomes angry, cursing and yelling that the accident wasn’t her fault, the police are dumb and that she hates cops.
It was Roberts shocking lack of remorse, the judge said, that upped her sentence.
“You never apologized, and you cry for yourself, but not for others," said the victim’s daughter Laura Smaltz, in court.
While the prosecution consented that intoxication could have played a role in Roberts’ shockingly insensitive reaction, the court agreed that Roberts should be punished to the full extent of the law.
"I think being sentenced to fifteen years in the Texas penitentiary, I would hope has a, no pun intended, very sobering effect on an individual," Prosecutor Tom Brummett said.
While the judge allowed Roberts to spend Christmas with her family, she failed to appear to begin her jail sentence in January. The fugitive was caught by U.S. Marshalls and arrested shortly after—with a fresh charge of failing to appear that could add 10 more years to her sentence.