LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A deadly mistake appeared to hit home Monday morning for a man now charged with murder after a DUI crash that killed a Louisville daycare owner. Anthony Smiley sobbed in court as he made his first appearance.
Smiley has faced a judge for DUI before, back in 2009. This time, when police say he drove drunk, someone died.
"Now that it's been done, he must pay the price," said Lois Windhorst with Mothers Against Drunk Driving. "It's never going to bring this woman back who's dead, but he made the choices and he has to be responsible for his actions."
Smiley never met Windhorst, but all the same he's broken her heart. For years, Windhorst has worked to stop the tragedies drunk drivers leave behind.
Louisville Metro Police says Smiley was drunk when he drove the car on Manslick Road Friday night that killed Robin Jent.
The day before that crash, police charged David Batts with murder. Batts, 34, was also drunk, police say, when he drove the wrong way on the I-265 Gene Snyder Freeway and killed Jason Shawler.
Three weeks before that, police believe Timothy Sharpe was also intoxicated when he drove the wrong way on the I-264 Georgia Powers Expressway, killing himself.
"Last year in Jefferson County, just our county of a million people, we lost 15 people in alcohol-related crashes," Windhorst said, "too many and for this past week, it's inexcusable."
Windhorst isn't the only one who's had enough.
"I think we had nine DUI injury accidents Friday night," said Jefferson County District Court Judge Sandy McLaughlin to Smiley at his court appearance. "I set every one of those bonds. It was shocking. I don't know how many DUIs we had over this weekend, but how, how ... I don't understand why people haven't gotten the message."
McLaughlin noted Smiley has already had a second chance. The first time police charged him with driving drunk, he finished a diversion program and then a judge threw out the charge.
This time, Jent died.
"I tell them every time, 'What could happen is the difference between spending a few days in jail and 20 years in the penitentiary is just some bad ... luck ... I guess,'" McLaughlin said as Smiley left the court. "Sir, I'm sorry. You're breaking a lot of people's hearts, mine too."
The Jefferson County Attorney's Office says that more than 1,500 people have successfully completed the DUI pretrial diversion program. Office spokesman Bill Patteson said Smiley is the first to have done so and been charged with a DUI murder. Forty-seven have received new DUI charges.
Survivors of DUI crashes can contact MADD in Kentucky at 502-871-4210.