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One driver sentenced for role in fatal US-131 business loop crash
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - On Monday, a Kalamazoo woman was sentenced for causing a chain reaction crash that killed two of her friends.
25-year-old Kari Braley will serve six months in jail for her part in two crashes on the US-131 business loop in November that killed 23-year-old Trevor Stuck and 22-year-old Brittany Despins.
Police say Braley was driving with Stuck and Despins as passengers when she went off the road and rolled over.
Another driver then struck their car after their crash.
Braley had reached a plea deal in the case, and with teh blessing of parents of both victims, she was going to be sentenced with no jail time.
In court on Monday, though, that changed.
As Braley was set to receive her punishment in court, she told the judge it was already a life sentence, living with the guilt of killing her two friends.
"I just want to say how much I miss my friends, how I wish every day I could take back what happened to them, and if I could trade places with them," Braley said.
Braley said she accepted responsibility for her part in killing Trevor Stuck and Brittany Despins.
But going into today's sentencing it was unclear what her punishment would be.
Braley had worked out a deal to avoid any jail time, but Monday, prosecutors revealed that since the deal happened she had violated her bond, by driving with a suspended license.
Family of Stuck and Despins had been asking Braley not get jail time, but Monday said they were starting to change their minds.
"I'm worried that another mother might be standing here dealing with what I'm dealing with at her hand again, and I would ask you take that into consideration when sentencing her," said Despins' mother, Wendy Dove.
Stuck's parents also said they were torn, not wanting to see Braley's life ruined, but wanting her to take responsibility.
"We wish her nothing but the best going forward, but we know the law has to be served too," said Stuck's step-father Jeff Chaffin.
Ultimately, it was left in the hand of the judge who had the option of the minimum of two years but handed down six months in jail and five years probation.
Braley will also have to wear an alcohol tether.
The other driver involved in the crash, Margaret Robinson, is scheduled to be sentenced on Wednesday.