EVERETT — A repeat drunken driver pleaded guilty Monday to killing a woman in a wrong-way crash on I-5 near Arlington.
Aaron Gentry, 56, had been weaving north in southbound traffic for miles on the afternoon of July 1, at speeds reported at up to 100 mph.
After a series of minor collisions and near-misses, Gentry crashed his daughter’s Ford Explorer head-on into a Toyota Corolla around 4 p.m.
Wyne had just merged to go south. She swerved but could not avoid the oncoming Ford. Wyne and her 1½-year-old son suffered minor injuries.
Robinson died instantly.
Gentry, of Tulalip, slurred words to a trooper and couldn’t be understood. Samples taken hours later measured his blood-alcohol content at 0.22. He has been in jail since July.
He entered Snohomish County Superior Court on Monday in a green-and-white striped inmate’s uniform.
Gentry pleaded guilty as charged to vehicular homicide while under the influence. It was the seventh time Gentry has been convicted of being intoxicated behind the wheel.
Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tobin Darrow said he plans to recommend about 18 years behind bars at a sentencing hearing Jan. 30. Much of that time is not up to a judge’s discretion, because Gentry’s earlier alcohol-related convictions automatically tack on two years per offense.
To Robinson’s father, Ken, it will be not enough.
Under state law, sentences accounting for earlier DUIs are eligible for time off for good behavior. That differs from the time for convictions of using a deadly weapon, such as a gun or a knife.
“Somehow,” the father said Monday, “a car driving 80 miles per hour in the wrong direction is not a deadly weapon.”
If a judge approves the plea agreement, Gentry could walk out of jail in about 12 years, Ken Robinson said.
Four of Miriam Robinson’s siblings plan to attend the January hearing. Their sister was remembered as quirky, protective and deeply loved. Close friends and family said they would channel their anger into pushing for sterner laws against drunken driving.
“There’s no closure,” Ken Robinson said after the plea. “My daughter’s dead.”
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.