An Oklahoma City woman initially charged with manslaughter in an alleged DUI accident that killed her wife has been sentenced in the case.
Chrysanthemem Ewertz, 30, pleaded guilty in September to leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death. Earlier this month, Oklahoma County District Judge Ray C. Elliott decided her sentence: 10 years of probation under a deferred sentence.
According to police reports, Chrysanthemem Ewertz and her wife Sabrina, 33, began arguing at a bar in September 2015. The two went home, where the fight continued.
Chrysanthemem allegedly tried to leave the home, but she says Sabrina would not let her. She says her wife pointed a gun at her, telling her the only way she would leave would be in a body bag, and saying, "If I can't have you, no one else can."
The defendant told police that she was able to disarm the pistol her wife pointed at her, and she got in her vehicle to attempt to leave the situation. Instead, she says, Sabrina jumped on the vehicle to prevent her leaving.
According to her testimony, Chrysanthemem stopped the vehicle and told Sabrina to get off, but she refused. Chrysanthemem then applied the gas, causing Sabrina to roll off the vehicle and fall to the ground. Chrysanthemem says her wife stood up and said, "You're going to regret that," before she drove away.
Police responded to the scene to find Sabrina Ewertz lying in the street. Her cause of death was ruled as head trauma.
Prosecutors charged Chrysanthemum Ewertz with first degree manslaughter and recommended a sentence of 10 years in prison. However, her defense attorney argued that the woman's death was an accident caused by her jumping on the vehicle. She recommended a deferred sentence of 10 years for leaving the scene of a fatal accident. This means that the defendant would spend 10 years on probation, and if she successfully completes her probation without violation, her case will be dismissed and she will not be a convicted felon.
As part of her plea to leaving the scene of a fatal accident, the defendant allowed Judge Elliott to choose her sentence. In this case, the judge determined that the death was accidental, not criminal, and sided with the defense. He reiterated that if Chrysanthemem Ewertz had remained at the scene and called for assistance after her wife fell, there would likely have been no criminal charges involved. However, because she left the scene and did not render aid to the fallen woman, she is guilty of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Judge Elliott determined that prison would not be an appropriate sentence for this accidental death, and gave Ewertz 10 years of probation instead. If the defendant violates probation, her sentence could be accelerated, and she would be eligible for the full sentence of 10 years in prison. If she does not violate probation, her plea will be updated to reflect a plea of not guilty, and the case will be dismissed.
Image Credit: Johnny Silvercloud