Teen mom speaks out about deadly crash

August 31, 2012 4:27:54 PM PDT
A teenage mom accused of manslaughter in a car crash that killed her friend speaks out about the charges against her. She's being prosecuted now, more than a year after the crash, after what the Deer Park Police Department called an incomplete investigation.

For the first time the suspect in the deadly Deer Park wreck is speaking publicly about that night, her own injuries and about the charges against her.

"Honestly, that night... I don't remember anything from that night," Taylar Braden said. "Literally almost nothing."

This is the Taylar Braden you likely don't know.

"I'm a single mother of a two and a half year old son," she said.

The candid 19-year-old is still recovering from her own injuries in the wreck 12 months ago that killed her 18-year-old friend Andreaka Bell and has her charged with manslaughter.

"Andreaka is gone. I can't even put it into words or even begin to describe how I feel," Taylar said. "Regardless of how the family feels toward me, I still pray that they'll come to peace with this, because it is hard. I can't even begin to explain how they feel, because I don't know."

Taylar says she sustained brain injuries that have left her with a poor memory. Prosecutors say she was drunk and behind the wheel after leaving a party with two friends. Now she's worried about going to jail for something she doesn't remember.

"I don't even know if what they're saying is even true," she said.

The case against her is somewhat unusual in that Deer Park police admittedly failed to investigate the wreck properly when it happened in August 2011. The community cried foul, saying that police didn't value Andreaka Bell's life.

Officer Thomas Goodwin resigned from the force after his superiors determined he never completed the initial investigation. Her family, who did not want to respond to our interview with Taylar, called for justice and wants Taylar behind bars.

"Taylar is being prosecuted and to some extent she is being persecuted by the community," said defense attorney Paul Houston LaValle. "People are hating on her. They're sending her death threats. This is a very remorseful, very scared, very spiritual person."

Taylar said, "I pray about it, that maybe it'll just get better, people will see my side and they'll understand more."

Taylar Braden tells us she has apologized to Andreaka Bell's family. The family tells us they're not interested in anything other than Taylar being punished. If convicted, she faces up to 20 years behind bars. But her attorney believes prosecutors will have a difficult time convincing a jury that Taylar is guilty of any wrongdoing.


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