A Killeen woman was sentenced on Friday for three felonies after she pleaded guilty in September to being three times over the legal blood alcohol limit when she crashed her vehicle with three children inside earlier this year.
Shaunda Jenae Walker, 33, entered her guilty pleas on Sept. 25 during a remote hearing in the 264th Judicial District Court. During a remote hearing in the same court on Friday afternoon, Judge Paul LePak found Walker guilty and sentenced her to two years in jail that will be suspended and she will be on probation for four years.
Walker was indicted on Feb. 12 on the state jail felony charges of driving while intoxicated with a child under 15 years old, injury to a child by reckless bodily injury and possession of a controlled substance less than 1 gram.
There were no plea bargains in the cases.
No evidence or testimony was presented by either side during the hearing, although the judge did consider the attorneys’ arguments.
“My client has expressed her remorse and accepts responsibility,” said defense attorney Tom Seigman. “She made a terrible mistake that night, and she’s worked the program through Child Protective Services. She spent about a month in jail and I think she understands the seriousness of her actions. Probation is reasonable in these cases.”
The state’s prosecutor argued that Walker should spend some time in jail.
“To say she had a bad night is a classic understatement,” said Assistant District Attorney Fred Burns. “What happened was horrible. She could have killed herself, her three children or someone else.”
Burns said that Walker’s blood alcohol concentration was .245.
Before he made his ruling, LePak asked Walker directly what learned from the time she already had spent in jail before posting a personal recognizance bond.
“It was an excruciating time, being without my family or my children,” Walker said. “I never want to be away from them or hurt them again.”
LePak said the incident could have been much worse.
“I’m thankful that you’re not facing an intoxication manslaughter charge,” he said. “I hope this probation will be a stepping stone for you. We don’t want to have to welcome you back to the courthouse.”
Shortly before 5 a.m. on Jan. 25, police were called to a one-car accident off Stan Schlueter Loop.
There, police found a woman inside of the car with her three children, all of whom were under the ages of 15, according to the arrest affidavit.
The driver, identified as Walker, had “slurred speech, glassy eyes and was unstable while she was walking,” when officers made contact with her.
Police said that Walker smelled like an alcoholic beverage and a “white powdery substance” was found in Walker’s wallet. A field test resulted in positive results for cocaine and weighed less than 1 gram.
All three children had “scrapes and cuts and were bleeding,” according to the affidavit.
One child had “glass removed from her face, had glass in her orbital socket and suffered a broken right arm,” police said.
When interviewed by police, Walker admitted to drinking “four to five vodka drinks and was driving home at the time of the crash.”