South Padre Island official sentenced to jail and probation
Thu, 21 Mar 2013 22:45:18 GMT —
It's been two years since a Winter Texan on his motorcycle was killed by a South Padre Island official.
South Padre Island Economic Development Director Darla Lapeyre was sentenced to six months in jail and five years probation on a lesser charge.
Lapeyre was initially charged with Intoxication Manslaughter following the death of Jimmy Anklam, but both the prosecutor and defense attorney said there was not enough evidence to convict Lapeyre on those charges.
In the end neither party was pleased with the final sentence.
It was one tearful testimony after another from both 63-year-old victim Jimmie Anklam's family as well as Lapeyre, the woman charged with his death.
"I know there's nothing I can ever say to change things or bring Mr. Anklem back," said Lapeyre.
She failed to yield a right of way on Padre Island Boulevard on February 6, 2011.
Anklem and his wife Christine were on a motorcycle riding along that stretch of road when Lapeyre slammed into them.
She was leaving a bar and was initially charged with intoxication manslaughter.
Lapeyre plead guilty to a lesser charge of Negligent Homicide.
Her attorney Trey Garza said the evidence was just not there to convict her of anything more.
"At the scene of the accident the officer took a breath test from her and it was below the legal limit, said Garza. At the scene of the accident the machine tested .07. They took her to the hospital and at the hospital it was .07."
Unable to contain her tears, Lapeyre addressed Anklam's family saying although it was a terrible accident, she takes full responsibility.
Some family members wore pins with Jimmie's picture on them.
"Mr. Anklem is gone, his life cut short because of me. I ask God why did this happen, said Lapeyre. I honestly would give anything to trade places with him if I could, this intense gut wrenching guilt has devastated me emotionally yet I know that in no way it compares to what I've put you all through."
Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez told Lapeyre she believes she is remorseful, but she affected the lives of many.
Lapeyre was taken into custody immediately.
"I agree pretty much with it, but I wish she would've gotten more jail time, said widow Christine Anklam. She chose to do the wrong thing that night. She was at the bar and driving"
I believe the judge sent a message through her punishment today, said Garza. One that probation is appropriate but probation with jail tiime and that you will go to jail if someone die's when you're behind the wheel"
Lapeyre's attorney said once she is out of jail she will have strict probation rules, like wear an ankle monitor and have a monitoring device installed in her vehicle.
Her conviction will also remain on her record as a felony.