Convicted drunk driver in deadly crash back in court

Published: Feb. 2, 2012 at 4:45 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2012 at 6:23 PM EST
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OLDHAM COUNTY, KY (WAVE) - The families of two Oldham County men killed in a 2006 DUI crash are reliving old memories.

It's because they found out, the young woman who was originally charged with the murder of their loved ones and later given a plea deal, allegedly violated her probation.

It's news an Oldham County mom and a Kentucky sheriff never expected.

"I am very upset, very angry," said Tammy Cantrell-Williams, the mother of one of the victims Justin Cantrell, "I can't believe she would put herself in a position again to be arrested."

Carroll County Sheriff Jamie Kinman said of the arrest, "It's very surprising."

In 2006, police say Rebecca Johnson was speeding and drunk when she crashed her car into a railroad gate at Chamberlain Lane and LaGrange Road. Her passengers and former Oldham County classmates Justin Cantrell and Ben Mcintosh were killed.

Cantrell-Williams told WAVE 3 News, "A mother should never have to bury a child, it's just awful!"

In a plea deal, Johnson's murder charges were amended to manslaughter.

On July 27, 2007 Johnson was sentenced. She was told to stay clean and out of trouble on supervised probation for five years and she wouldn't have to serve a day of her 10 year sentence.

Just six months short of that deadline, the now 26-year-old was arrested.

Kinman says on January 16, they got a call about a problem near the ABC Liquor Store in Prestonville.

The caller complained there were two people that had been sitting in a car for a while outside the liquor store and they seemed highly intoxicated.

The sheriff told us, when he and a deputy got there, that was the case. "She did become belligerent and was helped to the cruiser by the deputy," Kinman said of Johnson.

Johnson who was in the passenger seat was charged with public intoxication, possession of drug paraphernalia and synthetic marijuana. The sheriff says he didn't know Johnson was on probation so she got out of jail the next day.

Prosecutors tell WAVE 3 News any violation could compromise Johnson's freedom.

Cantrell-Williams said of Johnson's probation, "She came that close and couldn't go a few more months after killing two people?" she continued, "I pray that something will be done to where she can be incarcerated and she can be off the road because my goal will be to save someone else's life."

We were not able to reach Johnson's new attorney for comment.

A spokesman with the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Jefferson County tells WAVE 3, if found guilty on the recent charge, Johnson could face full supervision or they could make a motion to revoke her probation.

Johnson will face a judge Thursday morning, parents of both men plan to be there.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.