NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -The woman who killed a man on the Causeway Bridge when she was driving drunk has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Olivia Matte took the stand before sentencing and gave an emotional apology to the family in a tear filled courtroom.
The judge sentenced the 28-year-old Thursday afternoon in a Jefferson Parish court.
Matte had a blood alcohol level of .216 – nearly three times the legal limit – when she slammed into James Blackmond’s pickup truck, sending him careening into the guardrail on the bridge.
The railing pierced the glass killing Blackmond.
Matte was arrested, and it was her third DWI in just nine months.
Just before she was sentenced she took the stand and cried as she apologized to Blackmond’s family.
“I deserve punishment. I do not deny this. I mourn for the life that was lost. I’m not a bad person. My only wish is to prove to James Blackmond and my family that I want to do good,” Matte said.
Blackmond’s family is satisfied with the sentencing. His wife, Queenita, says she can forgive but she cannot forget.
“She was remorseful for herself because I guess she thought this day was never going to come. You can’t say whether or not … if she is truly sorry will have to,” Blackmond said.
Donna Vincent Roa, Matte’s aunt, said she was in crisis.
“When someone does something wrong they obviously should pay for it, and we are to support Olivia through all of this,” she said.
She was also sentenced to six months for both vehicular negligent injury and driving with a suspended license.
She received 90 days for careless operation of a vehicle that time will be served concurrent with her 20-year sentence.
Both families say their lives will never be the same because of what happened. Blackmond’s family hopes Matte gets the help she needs in jail.
She will be eligible for parole in 5 years.