A woman accused of killing two bicyclists and injuring a third while driving under the influence in Oklahoma was sentenced to twenty four years in prison for the deaths.
Tausha Borland, 39, waived her right to a trial and pleaded guilty on September 13 to two counts of first-degree manslaughter. Court records indicate that her guilty plea was not part of a plea agreement arranged with prosecutors and her defense attorney.
While punishment for first degree manslaughter in Oklahoma ranges from four years to life in prison, prosecutors argued that Borland's consecutive twelve-year sentences were not enough. However, Borland's defense lawyer told the judge that his client never meant to hurt anyone and pointed out that she will not be eligible for parole until she about sixty years old.
As part of her sentence, Borland is required to serve eighty-five percent of her term before being eligible for parole or release. In the case, Borland also pleaded guilty to misdemeanor DUI and pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of a fatality accident.
For those convictions, she received a total of six years suspended sentences. Records indicate that this is Borland's third alcohol related offense since 2003. She received a fine for a DUI charge reduced to reckless driving in 2003. In the second incident, she received a six month suspended sentence for Oklahoma DWI.
The most recent conviction was the result of a June 9 collision in which Borland struck three bicyclists who were riding on the shoulder of Oklahoma Highway 51. After the accident, which killed Christa Voss, 33, and Matthew Edmonds, 34, lab results determined Borland's blood alcohol concentration to be 0.09, just over the legal limit of 0.08 for DUI in Oklahoma.
Borland admitted to substance abuse issues with alcohol, marijuana, and Xanax, and at her sentencing, she told the judge that she received treatment and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings while free on bond prior to her September 13 guilty plea.
More information on DUI Cases and Defense
If you or someone you love has been charged with DUI or manslaughter your first step should be talking to qualified legal representation.