Wrong-way driver in fatal crash pleads guilty, sentenced to 2 years in jail

Friday, November 16, 2012 at 12:51pm

Rebecca Benson, the woman charged with driving drunk in the wrong direction on Interstate 65 and causing a fatal wreck, pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and felony reckless endangerment Friday morning.

Benson received an effective 10-year sentence, according to a release from the Davidson County District Attorney Office’s.

In February, Benson crashed into the car driven by 29-year-old Steffanie Leonard, who died at the scene. At the time of the wreck, a Metro police officer responding to the crash said Benson was confused and thought she was in a taxi because she was too drunk to drive. Her blood alcohol content was found to be .23.

As part of her plea agreement, Benson, now 23, will serve two years in jail and then will be on supervised probation for the remaining eight years of the sentence.

During her probation, Benson will be required to work or attend school full time, wear an alcohol monitoring device for the first six months, complete 80 hours of community service work per year for each of the eight years, speak to high school or college classes about the dangers of drinking and driving at least three times a year for the first five years of her probation, and will have her license revoked for six years.

3 Comments on this post:

By: gid on 11/16/12 at 2:36

Two years?

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 11/17/12 at 10:52

Gid - It's pretty common. It is "10 years at 20%". These deals are done on a regular basis and eliminate the need for parole hearings and such. 10 years is the maximum under the law for vehicular homicide/intoxication and the percentages of time actually incarcerated are negotiable and often depend on strength of the state's evidence. I know of a case where the state mishandled the blood sample drawn and couldn't actually provide evidence of intoxication. The deal was for the defendant to "stipulate" to the intoxication as part of a deal for "10 years at 10%". If he had refused to do so, he could have been given "8 years at 100%" just for the vehicular homicide.

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