Woman sentenced for killing teen in hit-and-run

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by Crystal Cruz

azfamily.com

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 4:59 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 7 at 5:36 PM

PHOENIX -- A Maricopa County courtroom was packed with sobbing family members for the sentencing of Laura Flanders.

In 2010, Flanders ran over and killed 18-year-old Joey Romero in her SUV and then left the scene.

The police report showed she was on prescription meds at the time and thought she hit a tree.

"From the bottom of my heart I want to say how sorry I am to their family," said an emotional Flanders.

Flanders also cried a lot during her sentencing on Thursday.

"I want to tell you I do believe that you are remorseful," said Judge Joseph Kreamer.

However, Kreamer sentenced the young mother to six years in prison.

He gave her 6 years instead of 4 years because of the impact the crime had on the victim’s family.

The victim's father, Jesse Romero Jr., asked for a longer sentence, but the plea agreement won't allow it.

"These early pleas, cheap pleas gotta’ go," said Romero.

The father also told 3TV that Flanders, "got off easy in my book."

The loss of Joey has been tough on the Romero family.

Especially for a grieving dad who now has a tough time driving.

"I have to have somebody drive me to the cemetery to see him because I can't make it home. I have to pull over. It's just too over bearable for me," said Romero.

Since the teen's death, his father has gotten Joey's Law passed.

If you leave the scene of an accident your driver's license could be suspended up to 5 years.

If it's a fatal crash your license could be yanked for up to decade.

In Flander's case the law doesn't apply because it was passed after her arrest.

"He'll live on forever with Joey's Law. For us we're going to miss him dearly," said Romero.

Flanders has 56 days of jail time already served.

Once out of prison she will get three years of supervised probation.

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