Breaking news as reported in The Red & Black, Whitney Baker Howard, who was found guilty in the death of University of Georgia graduate student Ashley Block, was recently sentenced at the Athens-Clarke County Courthouse at about 2:45 p.m.
On Sept. 12, 2016, 32-year-old Howard crashed into a group of cyclists, killing Block and seriously injuring one of the cyclists.
Read more: Wrongful Death Lawyer, Athens GA
Howard was driving with her two-year-old daughter in the car under the influence of prescription drugs when the accident occurred. As a result, Howard was found guilty of two counts of vehicular homicide, seven counts of inflicting serious injury with a vehicle, and child endangerment.
Judge Eric Norris sentenced Howard to 25 years in prison as well as six years of probation. The sentencing came after almost an hour of tearful testimony provided by the defense and the state.
Dr. William Block, Block’s father, took the stand to tell why he believed Howard should be given prison time. Dr. Block said he never wanted another family to experience the grief and loss his family had endured after his daughter’s death.
Dr. Block, who became emotional at the end of his testimony, also told the defense attorney to “rest in hell,” while the defense attorney accused Dr. Block and the state of “putting on a show.”
Howard also addressed the court instead of having her attorney provide the closing statement. “I am not perfect,” said Howard who had spent some time since the crash learning from her mistake.
Howard then asked the court for “mercy” on behalf of herself and her two young daughters.