Web posted Wednesday, November 8, 2000
5:08 a.m. CT
Victims' kin testify against drunken driver
The Associated Press
(AP) - Relatives of four slain honor students, urging the
maximum sentence for the man who pleaded guilty in the
deaths, told of the unfulfilled dreams the girls had
before they were struck down by the drunken driver.
were tearful Monday as the families showed videotapes and
photos of Mandi
McWhorter, 15; Lacey
Osina, 17; Staci
Lee, 16; and Whitney Welch, 16. All were athletes
and honor students in Brock, a close-knit community of
about 300 people about 40 miles west of Fort Worth.
told of cheerleading camps, family vacations and organ
donations in the trial to determine the punishment for
Rickey Carter, 42, of Fort Worth.
faces up to 20 years' imprisonment, to run concurrently,
for the four counts of intoxication manslaughter. Some
family members have criticized Carter's plea agreement and
Parker County District Attorney Donald Schnebly for
accepting the deal following the deaths.
you want an impact statement on what this has done to me,
I think you see it," said Brock High School principal
Jim Branch, breaking into tears minutes after taking the
stand. "These were very young, active, gifted
cheerleaders and one victim was a player for the Brock
High School girls' basketball team before Carter's pickup
veered into the wrong lane on Ranger Highway in Brock just
after 11 p.m. on Dec. 19, 1998. The truck then smashed
into a Nissan that had tried to avoid the collision by
pulling onto the road shoulder, killing all four occupants
inside as they tried to return home from a basketball
spent most of Monday's testimony in a crowded courtroom
with his head down, refusing to look at the witnesses.
was to resume Tuesday before visiting State District Judge
lost his only child, Staci,
in the crash. He told the eight-woman, four-man jury
Monday that Carter has never apologized.