On Jan. 6, a Florida mother pleaded not guilty to charges of DUI manslaughter in the deaths of her two young sons.
Tonya Capallia-Eason, 33, was driving with a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit when she hit a utility pole on Oct. 22, according to WJXT. She was driving seven children between the ages of 7 and 15 at the time, two of whom were killed in the crash.
According to The Daily Mail, the two killed were Capallia-Eason's own sons, 8-year-old Nehemiah and 9-year-old Nicholai. The boys' sister, Nina, was also injured in the crash, but is expected to make a recovery.
Capallia-Eason initially told investigators that she was a passenger of the vehicle, and not actually driving at the time of the crash. She claimed that she tried to assist the "driver" when the car spun out of control. She later admitted that she had been the driver, and that she'd had six shots and two drinks at a Halloween party before driving the seven children.
She waived her appearance in court Jan. 5, but her attorney entered the not guilty plea on her behalf. The boys' father, firefighter Andrew Bird, told WJXT that he isn't surprised by the plea.
"I didn’t really expect her to plead guilty," he said. "There was always a chance that she would, but she still hasn’t showed any sense of remorse, of any wrongdoing, so I don’t know why she would start now."
He went on to say that the trial will help him gain closure over the death of his two sons.
"Over the last few years, it's been one thing after another, as far as the court systems go," said Bird. "A very big part of it is closure about all of the recent events, which I will probably never get complete closure, but it will help."
Toxicology reports confirm that Capallia-Eason's blood alcohol level was 0.148, almost twice the .08 legal driving limit. She faces two counts of manslaughter and could face up to 15 years in prison for each charge.