DENVER (CBS4) – A driver who killed a woman in a drunk driving accident along Interstate 25 was sentenced on Friday.
Rebecca Maez pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. She was driving in the wrong direction in the HOV lanes in August of last year.
Supporters of the victim were present in court when Maez was sentenced.
Maez was extremely drunk when she hit and killed Jenny Kush. Her blood alcohol content registered at 0.251.
The judge could have sentenced Maez up to 36 years behind bars but he settled on 10 years.
“She was a very loving, caring girl. She’d do anything for anybody,” said Kush’s mother Lori Monson.
That’s how Kush’s family wants people to remember the mother and marijuana activist.
Prosecutors say Maez not only had a prior DUI but was kicked out the bar she was drinking at the night of the crash and a friend tried to take the keys from her.
Melissa Ortiz is Maez’s sister and says she’s changed since the accident.
“She’s really changed, she’s not the same. She’s such a good and innocent person. She didn’t mean to do any of that,” Ortiz said.
Prosecutor Adrienne Greene says it’s rare to see a suspect take responsibility for their actions as Maez did during the case.
“Often as prosecutors, people think we think people are bad people. They’re not bad people. They make bad choices and mistakes. Rebecca Maez made a terrible mistake and had already made that mistake … made this so egregious,” Greene said.
Kush’s family says no amount of jail time will bring her back, but they hope the loss of her life will serve as a lesson about driving under the influence.
“Just don’t do it. There are plenty of people out there who will give you a ride home,” Monson said. “Just don’t put anyone’s life at risk.”
Kush leaves behind four children. They now live with their grandparents in Montana.