YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A woman who led officers on a chase that ended in a deadly crash was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison.
Nicole Mitchell has the possibility of early release after three years of her sentence.
On Monday, she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, OVI, and failure to comply. Other charges against her were dismissed.
While the victim’s family agreed to the plea deal that was arranged, they admit that their lives will never be the same.
“We will live this ’til the day I go to the grave,” said Steve Whiteley, Taylor Duvall’s grandfather.
Prosecutors say the two women were both addicts with drugs in their systems on the night of the crash. They argued that Mitchell and Duvall were trying to get away from police after shoplifting diapers from the Boardman Walgreens but Mitchell lost control on the icy roads and crashed.
Duvall died in the wreck and Mitchell walked away from the crash. Police said they found her nearby with the keys to the car and that she admitted she had been driving.
In court on Monday, Mitchell tearfully apologized for what she’d done.
“I wish I could take it back. I wish it was me that was gone and not her. There’s nothing I can do to change what happened that night,” she said.
Whiteley spoke at Mitchell’s sentencing. He said he tried to break his granddaughter’s drug addiction but never could.
“If we don’t get a handle on this, society will be broken down. We will no longer exist.”
The victim’s mother, Tammy Kaufmann — who asked not to be shown on camera — told Judge Jack Durkin her daughter was a good person with an addiction.
“I don’t feel she deserved to lose her life over this incident,” she said.
Whiteley told Judge Durkin that “the natural order of things is out of whack.”
“My family — I’m 71 years old — it’s torn. It’s torn. It’s shredded like a piece of paper, there’s no recovering. Everybody says ‘recovering.’ Recovery what?”