Deadly driver hopes for forgiveness, but victim's family far from willing
'I know you consider me a murderer and I understand that,' convicted dangerous driver tells family
It was an emotional day in a Moncton courtroom Friday at the sentencing hearing of 35-year-old woman who drove drunk and killed a man whose daughters still feel the pain she caused.
Melissa Amanda Lane pleaded guilty to operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner, causing the death of 66-year-old Raymond Keays, and to dangerous driving causing bodily harm to her passenger, James McMackin.
In the court, Keays's daughter Jennifer testified she first read about the collision on Facebook.
"I did not know I was reading about my father's death," she said. When she learned the truth, she "screamed so loud."
Crystal Melara, another daughter, told the court what happened that night was a senseless, selfish act. Her father didn't deserve to die because someone made the decision to get behind the wheel intoxicated, she said.
'Terrible lapse of judgment'
Lane also spoke, telling the Keays family in a prepared statement that "words cannot express how sorry I am."
Lane said the pain and regret she feels will be with her the rest of her life and she hopes one day the Keays family will be able to forgive her.
Her decision to drink and drive was a "terrible lapse of judgment."
"I know you consider me a murderer and I understand that," said Lane. "Nothing I say or do will bring him back."
Keays's daughter Amanda Whynot wasn't moved by Lane's statement.
"I couldn't look at her," Whynot said. "It was about her. I don't think I'll forgive her. It's not forgivable."
Whynot called for tougher drinking and driving laws.
"I don't know how many other lives need to be taken before things change, but two to four years is not enough for taking someone's life," said Whynot.
The Crown is seeking a sentence of three to four years, less time served, and 10 years of probation. The defence is seeking a lighter sentence of two years plus a day and two to three years driving prohibition.
Lane will be sentenced on June 5.