Smiling car killer Payne gets 46 years
There was no smile on Crozet native Kelly Dinelle Payne's face when Richmond Circuit Court Judge Beverly Snukals sentenced the two-time drunk-driving killer to 46 years behind bars, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"I could say I'm sorry, but it wouldn't begin to scratch the surface," Payne said, according to the TD. Payne's grinning mugshot in March belied the seriousness of her crime: on March 7, driving her boyfriend's truck in Richmond, she was involved in an accident.
She fled the scene and then struck and killed Ashokkumar M. Patel as he walked home from work. She left the scene of that accident as well.
Payne had already served jail time for killing a 13-year-old Tennessee girl while driving drunk. In total, she has 21 offenses on her record– six of them for drunk driving, and all related to her tendency to consume intoxicants.
Payne's attorney, Dean Marcus, argued that Payne is no longer a threat, and asked Judge Snukals to reduce the sentence the jury had recommended to between 23 years four months and 29 years two months.
"This is not a mean person," Marcus told the judge, according the Dispatch. "This is not somebody we have to worry about. This is not somebody who's going to rob people or hurt people."
Snukals, however, disagreed. "I think Ms. Payne is someone the court needs to worry about," she said. Dean plans to appeal the sentence, according to the Dispatch, claiming that Payne's conviction of both felony murder and manslaughter violates the Constitutional double jeopardy clause.