Troupe will serve time at detention center - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Troupe will serve time at detention center

September 5, 2006


Douglas -- Amanda Troupe is in the Coffee County Jail as she begins to serve the maximum sentence of 12 months probation for one count of driving under the influence.  

Just two weeks ago, Troupe was convicted of one count of DUI in A fatal ATV crash which killed Megan Nelson, Kayla and Justin Varnedore, Lindsay Joyner, and Courtney Arsenault.

A jury acquitted her of 15 counts of homicide by vehicle and one count of serious injury by vehicle. Tuesday, before the sentence was read, the judge agreed to hear impact statements from two of the victims.  

Before Judge Michael Boggs sentenced Amanda Troupe, he read 14 written victim impact statements and heard from two of the victims. Rhonda Nelson, ATV driver Megan Nelson's mother, told Troupe she'd forgiven her. 

"I just wanted to tell her that I forgive her, and I am so. The Lord's given you an opportunity to make it right, you got to make it right," said Nelson. 

The only survivor, Heather Bass, wasn't as forgiving. "I want you to know no matter how hard I try I can never forgive you, and I would say I'm sorry, but I'm not. I can never forgive you," said Bass. 

Troupe's attorney, Tom Pujadas, argued that as a first time DUI offender, Troupe's penalty should be minimal probation and a fine.

Judge Michael Boggs saw differently. "I'm going to require you to serve 12 months on probation with special conditions of that probation, namely-- number one, you will serve 270 days in a probation detention center."

Other conditions include Troupe serving 28 days at an alcohol rehab program in Waycross and 100 hours of community service. A spokeswoman for the victim's families said the punishment was just. MADD representative and family spokeswoman Cynthia Hagain said, "The families are pleased that the judge imposed a maximum sentence, and also ordered rehabilitation, and the families hope that the alcohol rehabilitation will be successful."

Families were also pleased that at least 25 hours of Troupe's community service will include educating high school students about the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. Judge Michael Boggs also fined Troupe one thousand dollars.

There was marijuana in the car Amanda Troupe was driving the night of that crash, but it was never brought up at her trial. Troupe wasn't charged with drug possession. There were two men in the car with her the night Troupe hit and killed the children-- her ex-husband Brock Troupe and his friend, Jeffrey James.

District Attorney Rick Currie says there was no way to determine who the marijuana belonged to, so no one was charged. "It was found in the backseat, it was not in her system and it wasn't her car, so the evidence isn't really going to support that charge being made."

Tests for drugs in Amanda Troupe's blood the night of the crash were all negative.

Amanda Troupe will remain in the Coffee County Jail until she can enter a probation detention center, which could take several weeks.

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