Superior Court Judge Michael Annis has agreed to reconsider the 15-year maximum sentence he gave in March to a man accused of drunken driving in a fatal wreck.
Annis set a new court date of May 17 after Christopher Roberts’ attorney laid out several reasons why he felt Roberts didn’t receive fair treatment at sentencing.
Roberts pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide after the evidence showed he was driving under the influence June 4 when his vehicle struck a guardrail on Bobby Jones Expressway, killing his passenger Whitney Revis, 20, of Clearwater.
He had two prior DUI charges in Richmond County, although one wasn’t prosecuted because of a clerical error.
In another driving incident in 1992, Roberts was at fault for a wreck that paralyzed another man from the waist down. He was not drinking in that wreck and the charge was dismissed.
In the most recent court events, Roberts’ attorney, Shawn Hammond, said his client attempted to present mitigating evidence at sentencing, but was interrupted by prosecutors.
Hammond also argued that Annis did not consider Roberts’ acceptance of responsibility in issuing his judgement.
“If the Court was not prepared to even consider his presentation of mitigating circumstances nor the acceptance of responsibility then (Roberts) should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and proceed with the trial of his case,” Hammond wrote.
Revis’ mother, Beverly Revis, said Thursday she was stunned by the news that the sentence would be reconsidered. The last sentencing brought back painful memories for the family, but Revis vowed to be there again.
“We’re our daughter’s last voice,” she said.