COUPEVILLE, Wash. - A teenager was sentenced to nearly six years in prison on Friday for drunken driving and killing her three best friends.
Kaylea Souza, 18, drove drunk and crashed her car on Whidbey Island in November. The collision killed passengers Mack Porter, Mick Poynter and Rob Knight.
During the hearing, families of the victims said the sentence was not enough.
“I think this is a total slap in the face the law’s written,” said Charles Porter, father of Mack Porter.
Souza struggled to apologize as she addressed the public for the first time.
“Those boys were my best friends. I would do anything to trade places with them,” said Souza.
In November, Souza pleaded guilty to driving drunk and faced 51 to 68 months in prison, but prosecutors offered 54 months.
“No punishment can even begin to undo the senseless, frankly stupid decisions made by Kaylea Souza that night,” said prosecutor David Carman.
Superior court judge Vickie Churchill said she’s bound by sentencing limits, but not the plea agreement. Churchill threw it out and gave Souza the maximum of 68 months in prison.
“You won’t ever be able to live their lives, but you might be able to stop somebody from doing the same thing,” said Churchill.
Souza is not required to speak at schools about the dangers of drunken driving, but families and friends of the victims hope she does when she is released.
A petition was started by a friend and it collected 500 signatures.