Website fights to
keep drunk driver behind bars
12:16 AM CDT on
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Up for parole, a drunk driver who killed a
group of teenagers December 19, 1998 is
attracting renewed outrage in the form of a
Ricky Carter has served less than five years
of a 20-year sentence for the deaths of four
cheerleaders from Brock High School, but because
of a plea agreement he has already come up for
parole once. He was denied then and now the
fight is on to make sure that happens once more.
"We wanted people to know just what the price
was for our community," said Janelle Sheperd.
Sheperd did not lose a child that night seven
years ago, but she said she did lose a night's
sleep last week when she learned the drunk
driver who killed four students could go free
within months. In fact, Shepherd was so adamant
about keeping Carter behind bars she started a
campaign through a website called Keep Ricky
"These families have had so much pain and so
much grief," Sheperd said. "How much can they
take? Do they really have to have this be their
own fight to keep this man in jail?"
The site has biographies for victims Mandi
McWhorter, Whitney Welch, Staci Lee and Lacey
Osina. She also placed impact statements from
family and friends on the site and a link to
contact the Victim Service Division of the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice.
The site has already generated thousands of
hits and untold letters, faxes and emails.
Liz Ocina lost her daughter Lacy that tragic
night in 1998 and said she is grateful to have
"When I left her home, I got in my car and
said a prayer and thanked God for bringing us
together," she said.
The website is not the only efforts to keep
Carter in jail. The person who received Ocina's
donated heart is sending a letter for those
considering the case.
However, Texas prison officials said they
have never seen anything like the website and
Sheperd hopes it can open the eyes of as many as
"I intend to keep it up forever," she said.
Jim Douglas reports