Woman guilty in cell phone wreck case

October 2, 2009 8:59:26 PM PDT
We're hearing from the parents of the woman killed by a driver talking on her cell phone. Late Friday afternoon, Jeri Montgomery was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide.The jury deliberated in the punishment phase of the trial and is in recess until Monday morning. They have a lot to consider, including both the defense and the prosecution making the same recommendation for punishment.

It wasn't the ending she wanted as Shelli Ralls had hoped the jury would have decided punishment Friday night.

"There will never be relief, but it's justice for my son and it's up to the jury to make that decision," said Ralls.

A picture of her son, Chance Wilcox, was shown to the jury. Earlier this week, the jury was also shown pictures of the day Wilcox died, the victim of a deadly crash. The jury Friday convicted Jeri Montgomery of causing that deadly accident in March of 2008.

Prosecutors say Montgomery was talking on her cell phone back in March 2008, when the car she was driving hit a truck while changing lanes on the North Freeway. The truck she hit rolled several times, ejecting and killing one person.

The jury agreed with prosecutors that Montgomery was distracted because she was talking on a cell phone while driving.

Montgomery testified during the punishment phase of her trial telling the jury she will no longer use a cell phone while driving. In closing arguments, both the defense and the prosecution recommended probation, telling the jury justice was served by the guilty verdict for criminally negligent homicide with a deadly weapon. The defense saying nothing would be served by putting Montgomery in prison.

Meanwhile, the victim's family did not offer comment on punishment, instead the victim's father has this message.

"I love him and I miss him and nothing will bring him back," said Butch Wilcox.

As for the punishment, Montgomery faces between two and 10 years in prison, or even up to 10 years probation, and a $10,000 fine.

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