A young woman who pled guilty to criminally negligent homicide stemming from an accident that killed a 15-year-old Dublin teen was given 10 years deferred adjudication Monday during a hearing to assess her punishment.
Standing next to her attorney, David Stokes, Dovie Danette Robins, 18, cried moments after Judge Don Jones handed down her punishment. She was also ordered to pay more than $11,000 in restitution to the victim’s family.
Tyler Wayne Elliott, a 15-year-old sophomore at Dublin High School, died on Oct. 13, 2006, when the car he was riding in crashed on what is known locally as “Roller Coaster Road.”
Robins was behind the wheel of a 1998 Ford Escort that authorities said was traveling at an unsafe speed when the accident happened. In February, Robins pleaded guilty to the crime and waived her right to a jury trial, opting instead for an open hearing where the court would decide her punishment.
Tyler’s parents, Jerry and Staci Elliott, testified during Monday’s hearing, saying the accident has devastated their family. Tyler was one of four children and was described as being close to his two brothers and sister.
“There’s not a second that goes by that I don’t miss him,” Staci Elliott said. “I’ll never get to see him go to the prom or get married. I’ll never get to teach him how to drive like I did with my other sons.”
She described Tyler as someone who “always smiled,” loved sports and never got into trouble.
“He lived to play football,” she said. “When he wasn’t playing football, then it was basketball or soccer.”
Before assessing punishment, Judge Jones said there was nothing he could do to ease the Elliott’s suffering and cited Robins’ lack of malice, age and remorse as factors in his decision.
“If I sent (Robins) to the penitentiary for 50 years, it would not ease the pain,” Jones said.
The Elliott’s said they are disappointed in the judge’s decision to give her adjudicated probation and had hoped she would serve some jail time.
They said their family will never recover from the loss of Tyler.
“He was a piece of the puzzle that’s no longer there,” Staci Elliott said. “And we can’t put it back together.”