Family of crash victim asks judge for leniency in sentencing

Longview News- Journal
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - 1:21pm

Longview,TX — The family of a man killed in a wreck this past summer extended love and forgiveness Wednesday to a 22-year-old Longview woman who caused the collision by texting while driving.

Dana Smith of White Oak said in a hearing in front of County Court at Law No. 1 Judge Becky Simpson that although her father died in the crash, she did not want a harsh penalty for Ivana French.

“We the family did not want her to go to jail. We worked with the DA on recommendations,” Smith said. “She’s just 22, and she has a young child. We just wanted her to pay a price.”

French pleaded guilty of deadly conduct for her involvement in the crash that left 78-year-old J.W. Garrett of Longview dead and three other people seriously injured.

The plea came as part of an agreement French entered with special prosecutor Joe Black. Simpson accepted the agreement Wednesday and sentenced French to one year of probation.

Read more from the Longview News-Journal here.

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