CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A woman accused in a deadly April 2009 drag racing accident plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter in a Charlotte courtroom Tuesday morning.
Carlene Atkinson was facing 50-150 months behind bars after the guilty plea, but a judge sentenced her to 32-40 months.
Atkinson and Tyler Stasko were initially facing three counts of second-degree murder for a drag race wreck that occurred on York Road near the Palisades development. Stasko was found guilty of three counts of involuntary manslaughter on December 13, 2011 and was sentenced to 45-54 months in prison.
Winthrop professor Cynthia Furr, her 2-year-old daughter and 13-year-old Hunter Holt were killed. Holt was riding with Stasko. The two co-defendants did not know each other prior to the incident.
In court Tuesday Atkinson admitted she was racing and did not call 911 after the crash.
Atkinson had been banned from driving since she was arrested for the drag racing accident in April 2009. In November 2011 a judge denied a motion that would allow her back behind the wheel.
Atkinson might have come to the table because one condition of her $3 million bond was that she not drive. Two weeks ago police caught her behind the wheel.
"I think it had a role in bringing her to this point. We could talk about the guilty plea as opposed to a trial. Because of that we may have filed a motion to revoke her bond," said prosecutor Reed Hunt.
Holt’s mother called Atkinson “heartless” and soulless” Tuesday during the hearing.
Atkinson was immediately taken into custody, and Holt believes she deserved more time.
"We didn't have a choice, unfortunately. She was sentenced to the maximum that the law allows. It's not enough. She will have some time to think about it," said Lisa Holt.