Protests erupt outside courthouse when families of DUI crash victims weren’t allowed to testify
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Protests erupted outside the Floyd County Courthouse when families of DUI crash victims weren’t allowed to testify.
Families of the victims said they wanted the chance to tell Taylor Barefoot how they feel at the hearing Thursday.
According to police, Taylor Barefoot, 31, was behind the wheel when she crashed head-on into another vehicle on I-265. The March 7, 2020 crash killed 22-year-old Leah Onstott Dunn, 21-year-old Taylor Cole, Cole’s son Braxton and her unborn child.
Barefoot pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death while driving drunk and one count of involuntary manslaughter. A forensic toxicologist who testified Barefoot’s blood alcohol concentration was 0.3% an hour after the accident.
“She was honestly my best Friend. And now I don’t have that,” Carla McDonough, Mother of Taylor Cole said.
“Thinking about what we’ve all lost. It’s every time I do stop for a while and think about it it’s hard not to cry,” Sandra Onstott, stepmother of Leah Onstott Dunn said. “It’s just devastating and nothing can change that. But we just really wanted justice. She needed to see it through.”
“It feels like a slap in the face. It really does. To have her wanting to get out this fast.”
“This has certainly been one of the most difficult cases that I’ve had to deal with,” Barefoot’s Attorney Patrick Joseph Renn said. “Before this accident, she had no prior record whatsoever. And to be able to go into the prison and do the things that she has done, not just for herself, but all the other people she has helped really is remarkable.”
The victim’s family members said the judge told them families he will come to a decision within the next few weeks. Renn said Judge J. Terrence Cody gave her a 20 year sentence with 12 years in prison for the accident and 8 on probation.
Barefoot’s Attorney Patrick Joseph Renn said Barefoot was trying to get her 20 year sentence modified. Renn said he argued for her release based on her substance abuse improvements and her work to mentor others while incarcerated. Ren added Barefoot has not seen her 4-year-old daughter since she began serving time.
“Taylor Barefoot took Leah’s voice. And she took Taylor’s Cole’s voice and their families are the only voice they have. And we weren’t allowed. We weren’t allowed to voice,” Nina Mcdaniel, Leah Onstott Dunn Aunt said.
Barefoot’s will be released in 2030 if her sentence remains the same.
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