I hold no grudge against Camille Spink, but I detest the drunken driver who killed my Niece Sheena Blair, Her friend Martin Tony Ramirez, and at least temporarily disabled her boyfriend Luis Reyna, and Friend Marco Ortiz. All of these young people were just hitting their stride as responsible adults. Something has to be done to stem the tide of vehicular homicide due to drunken driving in this country. As the court has seen from the flood of letters from concerned citizens this opinion is shared by many.
The impact on our family has been devastating. Since I got the five am phone call from my brother on the early morning after the crash, I have seen him and his wife suffering immensely. The lack of sleep, personal distress, and the inability to hold back tears has rendered their lives dormant. Neither of them has been able to return to their normal routines including work, which has pretty much ruined them financially. They have been able to stay in their home only with the help of family, but who knows how long that will last. The loss of Sheena also impacts her disabled sister Amy. Deprived of her love and support Amy is having a very difficult time with the loss of her sister.
The rest of us have seen our last hope for continuing our father’s Native American blood line put to an abrupt end. Sheena was the last possible carrier of his blood, and now she is gone.
Sheena was going to graduate from college in the spring with a degree in Criminal Justice. Her intent was to work with young people on the verge of serious trouble. She would have been the second person in our family to graduate from college. That dream now has ended.
This isn’t the first experience for our family with drunken driver vehicular homicide. My wife’s brother Donovan Griswold was on his way home in the spring of 1978 when he had the misfortune to have a flat tire on Highway 18 near Maple Valley. Before he could get the tire changed, a drunk slammed into the back of his car, killing him instantly. The drunk, a repeat offender, was never brought to justice. By hiring a clever defense attorney, he was able to avoid even any jail time.
When will this madness end? When will we make the punishment fit the crime? We have two dead and two severely injured out of this incident, and yet the Prosecutor is asking for the minimum on the sentencing range. How can this be? What has the defendant done to deserve special consideration? She has been free on her own recognizance since a few hours after the incident. She has made no attempt to apologize for her actions. She has made no offer of restitution to any of the killed or injured. She was not even taken into custody when she plead guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault. She was not even asked to post bond. Is once again a clever Defense attorney working his magic? When will we put an end to this cottage industry of DWI? Awarding Defense attorneys tens of thousands of dollars to keep their clients out of jail doesn’t seem to be working. What were the maximum ranges even set for? Do you have to kill three, four, five at once?
Drunken driving is the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime. A person is injured by a drunken driver every two minutes in this country, someone is killed by a drunken driver every thirty minutes, and yet many of the perpetrators walk free. Just as the defendant has for nearly one year.
Your Honor you have the opportunity here to make a statement. I think we all know that with overcrowding in the prisons the defendant will probably never serve the actual sentence you pronounce. You have her admission that she, while drunk and driving killed two people, that she, while drunk and driving assaulted two people. She had a blood alcohol content of .21 %. That is close to three times the legal limit. According to documents available on effects of different levels of blood alcohol, a person with a blood alcohol in excess of .20% would most likely be in a stupor if still conscious at all. She also admittedly had smoked Marijuana earlier in the day. To be able to navigate a car to and down an off ramp from Broadway, 200 yards down the wrong way onto the onramp for southbound I-5 and over three lanes of traffic to eventually crash into Sheena’s car, and still be functional to answer her cell phone and converse with officers at the scene she must have built up a tolerance to this amount of alcohol and drugs. This was not her first time driving drunk!
Your Honor don’t look at Camille Spink When you pass judgment, look at the drunken driver who decided to get behind the wheel and killed two people and maimed two people. Please send a message to those who choose to drink and drive! Make them think twice before getting behind that wheel.
Please Honor Luis Reyna and his Parents!
Please Honor Marco Ortiz and his parents!
Please Honor Tony Ramirez and his mother Gloria!
Please Honor my Niece Sheena and her Father Frank, Mother Carol, and Sister Amy!
Make the sentence fit the crime!