Woman Sentenced for Killing 6 in Crash While Driving on Drugs

From Associated Press

A former Las Vegas stripper was sentenced Friday to 18 to 48 years in prison for having drugs in her system when the van she was driving veered off a freeway and killed six teenagers.

Jessica Williams, 22, did not testify during the trial but admitted that she had smoked marijuana two hours before the crash on March 19, 2000. Her lawyer said that she had used the stimulant-hallucinogen Ecstasy 10 hours earlier but maintained that she was not impaired and simply fell asleep before her van ran off Interstate 15 just north of Las Vegas.

A jury found her guilty Feb. 16 of six counts of felony driving with a prohibited substance in her blood, part of the state’s law on driving under the influence.


She also was convicted of lesser charges she did not contest--drug possession and drug use.

Prosecutor Gary Booker called the crash “the most heinous and horrendous traffic crime Clark County has ever seen” and asked for a stiff sentence.

The judge chose a mid-range prison term. Williams will be eligible for parole at age 39 because of credit for time served.

Her lawyer has promised to appeal and challenge the constitutionality of the law that makes it a crime to have drugs in the bloodstream even if the defendant is not found to be impaired while driving.