Guilty plea in crash that killed 2 in Everett
The crash killed Sheena Blair, 24, and Martin “Tony” Ramirez, 19, both of Tacoma. Luis Reyna and Marco Ortiz, both 18, suffered serious injuries and multiple broken bones.
A blood test hours after the Feb. 26 crash showed that Spink's blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit.
An ashen Spink pleaded guilty Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court to two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. Under state sentencing guidelines, she faces up to 8 1/2 years in prison.
Prosecutors have agreed to recommend the low-end sentence of just a little more than six years. That decision was made partly because Spink, 26, doesn't have any previous criminal history, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said.
“We charged her with every possible crime and she's taking responsibility for every possible crime,” Darrow said. “It's obviously a terrible tragedy.”
Under state law, Spink's sentence must fall within a range set by the state sentencing guidelines commission.
Spink hasn't been jailed. She was allowed to remain free pending her Jan. 3 sentencing.
That seemed like just one more injustice for his family to endure, said Blair's father, Frank Blair.
They've endured the changing seasons without his daughter, he said. She wasn't there when her little sister graduated from high school. They've missed her on Mother's Day and Father's Day and during other family celebrations, Blair said.
“Now we will endure Thanksgiving with an empty spot at the table, and Sheena's birthday, and Christmas, all while the defendant is home with her children. That to us is almost unbearable,” he said.
The thought that Spink could face about six years in prison also is difficult to accept, Blair said.
He and his family will do what they can to convince the judge that Spink deserves the top sentence.
About 600 people attended the young woman's funeral. Another 300 came to mourn Ramirez. That's nearly 1,000 people whose lives were forever changed because of Spink's decision to drive drunk, Blair said. He expects many of those people will be writing to the judge.
Spink and a friend were headed to a bar in north Everett when they crashed. She smelled of alcohol and was stumbling and swaying at the crash scene, court papers said. She also admitted smoking marijuana earlier in the day.
If Spink had stood at the same overpass, drunk and high, but firing a gun at random resulting in the deaths of two people and injuries to two others, she'd be looking at decades in prison, Blair said.
“Because she used a car as her weapon, she may only do four or five years,” he said. “That will change.”
His family is determined to convince state lawmakers to increase the penalties for drunken drivers who hurt and kill others.
Blair and his wife also are working toward setting up a statewide foundation to offer a free ride home to anyone who is too drunk to drive.
“It's big, I know, but Sheena had a big heart and she would have wanted us to do this,” Blair said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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