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.