A judge in Texas worked out an interesting jail sentence with the family of an “extraordinary” woman who was killed by a drunk driver.
Mesquite resident Travis Elwell, 25, was claimed to have had a blood alcohol level of 0.175, more than twice the legal limit, when he slammed his car into the vehicle of 34-year-old Emily Javadi as she planned to head home from a workout session on February 10, 2015, the New York Post reports.
“Javadi was loading items into her backseat after a fitness class,” the Dallas Morning News further explains, “when her car was struck, [flinging] her into a metal pole. She was rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where she died about an hour later.”
— Marie Saavedra (@MSaavedraTV) February 23, 2017
As part of a plea deal with Javadi’s family with court prosecutors, Elwell received a 120-day jail sentence to be served in addition to a separate week of imprisonment that is set to begin on February 10, 2017 — two years to the day that Emily was killed by the drunk driver — and will be repeated every year until 2027.
“That was the only thing that was important to us,” Michael Javadi, Emily’s father, relayed to WFAA on Thursday, “[that] there [needed] to be some sort of accountability for the irresponsible actions that he took.”
Mr. Javadi went on to admit that the despite the drunk driver’s actions, his family was never interested in seeing Elwell receive a life sentence in jail for his actions. Through conversations with their lawyer, Emily’s relatives came to the realization that most DUI charges are often light, with the criminal often serving days or weeks in jail as opposed to months and years.
Criminal attorney Amanda Knox, who was not connected in any way to Elwell’s jail sentence, shared with WFAA that the outcome of the drunk driver’s case was rare, but also quite intelligent.
“To have that annual reminder and the purpose of the annual reminder, while you’re sitting in solitude incarcerated, I think it’s a really creative way to create more of a deterrent effect,” Ms. Knox expressed.
Although infrequently engaged in the American court system, more mindful and reflective sentences for drunk drivers like Elwell’s are not as uncommon as one might think.
For example, in 2002, a separate DUI case ended with another intriguing sentence along with jail time for drunk driver Jennifer Langston of Pennsylvania, as NBC News notes.
Following a guilty verdict in the vehicular homicide death of Glenn Clark, an expectant father travelling with his pregnant wife when the 27-year-old Langston crashed into his pickup truck after accidentally crossing a median strip, the defendant was handed a 30-day jail stay, five years of probation, and ordered to carry around a picture of Clark in his coffin at all times as further punishment.
“Police said Langston admitted she was drinking before the accident along Neupert Road in Jefferson Township,” Butler County,” TribLive offers, “and that she was talking on her cell phone when she crossed the center line and hit the Clarks’ vehicle head-on.”
Clark’s mother, Rossellen Moller, went on to explain to TribLive why she chose a picture of her dead son as opposed to one from when he was still alive.
“We [wanted] her to get it,” she detailed to TribLive, “[to understand] exactly [what] she did. It somehow makes it a little better.”
Clark’s unborn son, Michael, was said to have been delivered five months early by C-section after his wife Annette fell into a coma following the accident. The drunk driver, Langston, was also sentenced to six months of home arrest following her release from jail on the aforementioned charges.
[Featured Image by Dallas Police Dept.]