An Illinois drunk driver captured on police body cam smiling and giggling after striking and killing a couple last year was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in prison.
Stephanie Melgoza, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated DUI and two counts of aggravated reckless driving in February, and faced up to 28 years in prison, as first reported by the Pekin Times. The former Bradley University student showed no concern after police informed her she had killed Paul Prowant, 55 and 43-year-old Andrea Rosewicz, according to body cam footage obtained by Fox News digital.
In April 2022, police responded at 10 PM to Melgoza’s 911 call after she struck the couple. Police arrived at a gruesome scene with a severed leg “sticking out of the grill” of Melgoza’s red Dodge Dart, Fox News reports.
Melgoza’s blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit at .264. On the floor of the car there was an open bottle of Tito’s vodka. Melgoza admitted to consuming three drinks before heading to the bar.
While paramedics attempted to resuscitate the victims, Melgoza asked the East Peoria officers if this would affect college graduation which was also four weeks away. She had also asked if she would be able to get the car back in time for her class the next day.
“You want me to be honest with you. You’re going to jail. You don’t have a bond. You killed two people tonight. I don’t think you understand that,” East Peoria Officer Jeffrey Bieber said in bodycam footage.
While awaiting her DUI test, Melgoza asked for her phone so she could share with her co-workers she had joined the DUI club. She also was allegedly excited, chatting about her birthday plans to Vegas.
Judge Tim Cusack of the 10th Circuit Court based his ruling on balancing punishment and rehabilitation.
“I have to balance those two. What is the appropriate punishment, in order to deter other people; and what is the rehabilitative quality of the person that’s being sentenced?”
Rosewicz’s sister gave a victim impact statement and pleaded for Melgoza to serve the full 28 years.
“There are no words that can even remotely come close to inflicting pain and suffering on you … that you have inflicted on me, our families, and Andrea’s friends,” Hutchison told Melgoza. “The magnitude is unimaginable.”
The NHTSA reports everyday 32 people die in the U.S. from drunk driving crashes.
Breitbart recently reported the death of newlywed bride Samantha Miller, who was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver after leaving her wedding reception with her husband.
The release of Melgoza’s body cam footage came on the day 25-year-old Jamie Lee Komoroski’s car rammed into the golf cart escorting the bride and groom.
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