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Christopher Roberts sentenced to 15 years for vehicular homicide

Thursday, March 15, 2012 4:09 PM
Last updated Friday, March 16, 2012 7:14 AM
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The one thing Beverly Revis wanted was to hear an apology from the man who was driving the vehicle that killed her 20-year-old daughter June 4.

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W. Revis  SPECIAL
SPECIAL
W. Revis


On Thursday, Christopher Roberts addressed the family, said he was sorry and pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide.

“It helped a little bit,” Revis said.

“As a mom, you need to know the person who took your child’s life is sorry.”

He received the maximum sentence of 15 years. A 12-month sentence for failure to maintain lane will run concurrently to the sentence.

Assistant District Attorney Johnny Mark­walter said the sentence by Superior Court Judge Michael Annis should serve as a warning to other motorists considering drinking and driving.

Roberts, 37, was driving under the influence when his vehicle struck a guardrail on Bobby Jones Expressway, killing his passenger, Whitney Revis, of Clearwater.

Roberts had two previous DUI charges in Richmond County but had been prosecuted for only one of the incidents because a file was marked inaccurately. In 1992, Roberts was charged with a felony count of serious injury by motor vehicle when he pulled into the path of another vehicle. James Kevin Furlan was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the crash.

“He never should have been driving,” Revis said.

The 20-year-old was referred to as a “miracle” by her mother who found she was pregnant seven years after having her tubes tied.

Whitney hoped to become a nurse and had just passed the phlebotomy medical board test four days before the fatal crash.

Revis said she was shocked when she learned of Roberts’ past.

Roberts and her daughter had met through mutual friends and were going out as friends when the incident occurred. Revis said her daughter told her Roberts “treated her with kindness and respect” and had discussed the possibility of dating him.

Revis was busy cooking her daughter’s favorite meal for dinner – at Whitney’s request – when she got the call that her daughter was in the hospital and Roberts was in jail.

Since the crash, Revis has been in therapy and unable to work.

She said she hopes the sentence will provide closure and help prevent future drinking and driving incidents.

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dizzy dictator
109
Points
dizzy dictator 03/15/12 - 09:24 pm
0
0
My prayers go out to Whitney

My prayers go out to Whitney Revis's family and friends and hope that this admission of guilt and apology by Roberts helps all of them. I am truly sorry for your loss and often wished that we had done things differently almost 20 years ago that may have spared this tragedy. This is the same man that pulled into the path of my former husband leaving him paralyzed in 1992. According to reports, he wasn't drunk and made a very bad driving decision that changed our lives forever. However, the charges of "serious injury by motor vehicle" were dropped in court because it was deemed an accident, he was not drunk. Our two children were 4 months old and 2 1/2 years old at the time of this accident. My former husband spent a very long time in the hospital and rehab before he was able to come back home, in a wheelchair. It was then we decided to see what could be done to sue him in civil court for 3 million dollars, an amount we knew from the beginning that we probably didn't stand a chance to collect from a then 18 yr old, but we felt the suit may make him think more about his driving abilities. As it turns out, in order to sue him, we wouldn't be able to receive any car insurance money for a while if we had proceeded according to our Attorney. We had to revamp our house and purchase items to further my former husband's care and so we were unable at that time to do this. Trust me when I say, the very small amount that we received nearly covered the unbelievable cost for the personal care items. When I first heard of this man being back in the news after all these years, my heart fell. Its one of those things I will always wonder that if we had finished our plan, would this have made a difference. Knowing what I know now, I wish we had gone through with our plan. I think it may have helped on so many levels.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/16/12 - 12:04 am
0
0
This loser ruined a family
Unpublished

This loser ruined a family and their lives in 1992, had driven drunk countless times since then until he eventually killed someone and ruined another family. Sorry??? He already knew what could happen and drove drunk..again...anyway. His sentence now, then and all inbetween, is a joke....thanks bleeding hearts!! And people wonder why I can't stand a bleeding heart. They leave killers on our streets. Madd is a joke too or they would do more than they have for #2,3,4,5 etc.. duis that are still a misdemeanor and a repeat offender drunk driver continues to drink until they kill. That's all I can say about such a sorry selfish human being without being banned!!! And there are thousands like him who will have and already have ruined many other lives and families. DUI misdemeanor???? Really???? Maybe 1 lapse in judgement or faulty conviction, no excuse for any more, you should be locked up the rest of your life to protect the innocent from you!! It should be murder and premeditated at that for any death caused after dui #1!!!!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/15/12 - 09:48 pm
0
0
My deepest sympathy to the
Unpublished

My deepest sympathy to the family of the beautiful Ms Whitney Revis. May God give you all the strength he can to help you!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/16/12 - 12:08 am
0
0
dizzy dictator, I am deeply
Unpublished

dizzy dictator, I am deeply sorry for what happened to your former husband, and to you and your children. An accident by a young kid is an accident, a forgivable one, even at the great price you guys paid. This was no accident at all. You had to do what you had to for your family at the time regardless. Do not second guess yourself, you could NOT have changed this outcome. Even if you did everything you intended drunk drivers like this are selfish and would have done it again anyway. The guilt of the accident and pain he caused you all should have been enough for anyone, even a kid, to have learned one of lifes most valuable lessons from. Not this guy!! Though he is ultimately to blame, in my opinion,there is sooo much blame I place on the bleeding hearts and lawmakers who let these repeat drunk drivers off with slaps on the wrist like this. We can't stop people from being lowlifes, but we can keep them from hurting innocent people, but the bleeding hearts of this country choose not to. Our life was changed dramatically from a drunk driver, and this was indirectly. They have no idea how many lives their selfishness impacts....and they do not care!!!! He almost put a young girl in a wheelchair for life. It was his 5th dui, second accident with bodily harm, and he still got off. What does this say about our justice system?? They allow people to get away with knowingly driving drunk and killing people?? That needs to be changed and its sickening no one addresses the issue, but will try to move heaven and earth to stop a small businessman from opening a smoking establishment. Where are their priorities?? When someone in their family is killed by a drunk...maybe they will finally get it. But don't second guess yourself or what decisions you made for the good of your family during such a trying time. You all have been punished enough, dont punish yourself anymore, especially since more than likely when he gets out in a few short years....he WILL do it again! Thats just how selfish people live and how our lawmakers let them. Best wishes to your family!!! God Bless!!

moonlighter6
15
Points
moonlighter6 03/16/12 - 12:49 am
0
0
My sincere prayers to all
Unpublished

My sincere prayers to all affected by Whitney's tragic and senseless death. I think, feel, and look forward; to become better, to become more, she would want that. Hopefully, a person that drives drunk will read this article and understand the severe pain of losing someone so heinously. Christopher, no matter how long you spend in prison, she will forever be in our hearts and minds. GOD BLESS US ALL !

jackrussell
219
Points
jackrussell 03/16/12 - 03:28 am
2
0
My condolences to the Revis

My condolences to the Revis family. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling.
SN: I hope all the people who say "why don't you go find a real criminal" to the cops who stop them for traffic violations, especially DUI, take notice of this tragedy. There are reasons for all laws. Telling a cop to go catch burglars, drug dealers, and murderers because you think your crime is so much less serious is ridiculous. Way more people are injured or killed by drunk drivers than are murdered.

nanowerx
1436
Points
nanowerx 03/16/12 - 06:15 am
1
0
Already had a DUI on his

Already had a DUI on his record that ended up Paralyzing a man, yet this guy was still on the road? Somehow I see this recent tragedy as something that could have been avoided had his license been revoked.

If you shoot a man and paralyze him even if you are drunk, then your right to bare arms is revoked, it should be the same with any other destructive weapon (such as a vehicle) if you are drunk.

itsanotherday1
48409
Points
itsanotherday1 03/16/12 - 07:50 am
1
0
Actually jackrussell, most

Actually jackrussell, most people I know who have anything to say about catching drunk drivers advocate more patrolling and more rational prosecuting. It is the chronic offender like this man who are killing people, and they routinely slip through the cracks while police are arresting the .08's at checkpoints.

Kudos to Judge Annis for throwing the book at him. This is what I'm talking about when I say rational prosecution; put repeat offenders in jail and heavily penalize even first time offenders if their BAC is in the stumbling drunk range. Just don't ruin someone over a .08 when they haven't demonstrated any incapacity.

ForeverFrog
1
Points
ForeverFrog 03/16/12 - 08:20 am
2
0
No disrespect but I have to

No disrespect but I have to ask: What was a beautiful twenty year old doing hanging around with a thirty-seven year old drunk?

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 03/16/12 - 08:48 am
1
2
"Roberts and her daughter had

"Roberts and her daughter had met through mutual friends and were going out as friends when the incident occurred. Revis said her daughter told her Roberts “treated her with kindness and respect” and had discussed the possibility of dating him."

Is it possible since they had just met, and were going out at "friends" she didn't know he was 37 and a drunk. People present themselves how they want other's to see them and sometimes it takes a while to realize that they are not what they appear.

ForeverFrog
1
Points
ForeverFrog 03/16/12 - 10:48 am
1
0
ICL, possible. . . Whatever

ICL, possible. . . Whatever the case it was a very sad preventable thing that happened to this beautiful girl. I'm sure she was an absolute joy to her family and their lovely memories of her will last them a life time.

InChristLove
22485
Points
InChristLove 03/16/12 - 12:11 pm
1
0
ForeverFrog, yes it is truely

ForeverFrog, yes it is truely sad and was preventable. My prayer is that her family finds peace and comfort.

my.voice
5180
Points
my.voice 03/16/12 - 10:04 pm
0
0
We don't care about this do

We don't care about this do we? If we did we'd act on it. Put brethalyzers in the bars and stop selling booze ice cold. And put jerks like this in the electric chair immediately after their trial.

But we don't care.........

ExpertCompSci
3
Points
ExpertCompSci 03/17/12 - 04:51 pm
0
0
What? "...because a file was

What? "...because a file was marked inaccurately..."? This guy was driving essentially "...because a file was marked inaccurately..."! Oh sure we care. But apparently, we don't care enough to mark files accurately. Oh well, I guess it's an OK, acceptable, human mistake. 'Cause we'd had to be 'countable fer it if'n we cared a thang 'bout it. That markin file stuff...baflin.

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