Troupe gets probation -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troupe gets probation

September 5, 2006

Douglas-  The waiting is over in the criminal phase of the Amanda Troupe drunk driving case, which resulted in the deaths of five Coffee County children in 2003. 

Troupe, convicted of driving under the influence in a south Georgia crash that killed five children three years ago in all-terrain vehicle accident, was sentenced today to a year of probation.

Troupe includes got nine months in a probation detention center, a month in an alcohol treatment center and community service.

Troupe was driving her Lincoln LS after having what she claimed were three beers at the Douglas Ruby Tuesday's when she struck an ATV overloaded with six kids. The head-on collision killed Megan Nelson, Kayla and Dustin Varnedore, Lindsay Joyner, and Courtney Arsenault. 

Defense attorney Tom Pujadas claimed that Troupe was being used as a scapegoat, and told jurors that the children and their parents were just as responsible for the accident.

District Attorney Rick Curry said that Troupe should be held responsible for her actions.

That she had been drinking before the collision was not in question. Troupe's blood alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit of .08 the night of the ATV crash three years ago.  A GBI crime lab toxicologist testified Troupe's blood alcohol level registered .155.  

Troupe was found guilty of Driving under the Influence and Driving under the influence, less safe.  The maximum sentences for those misdemeanor crimes is a year maximum for each.  She was acquitted of all other charges, including multiple counts of vehicular homicide.   

Amanda Troupe had been out of jail on a five thousand dollar bond, pending her sentencing.

While the criminal case is resolved, the civil cases are just beginning. All of the victim's families will file suit against the Ruby Tuesday restaurant, and Tammy Bass has filed suit against the Nelsons, making public debate over this case far from over.