FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Freeport woman who hit and killed a Hempstead woman while she was mowing her lawn was sentenced Tuesday to three to nine years in prison.
Kayla Gerdes, 20, pleaded guilty in April to manslaughter and other charges in the death of retired doctor, 69-year-old Rebecca Twine.
Prosecutors said on April 20, 2010, Gerdes was speeding and high on Xanax, oxycodone and marijuana when she lost control of the van she was driving and drove 100 feet onto a Hempstead lawn, killing Twine.
WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reports Download: lawn-mow-sentencing-hall.mp
Before she was sentenced, Gerdes had turned to the victim’s son in court and started to apologize.
Chauncey Twine turned his back to Gerdes and faced the wall, WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall reported.
“I just don’t take any of her apologies seriously,” Twine said outside the courtroom. “I think you saw the person, who she really was, after she killed my mother and the comments that she made.”
After Gerdes was arrested, police said she told them, “I don’t feel bad, she was old.”
Gerdes, who was 18-years-old at the time of the incident, had faced up to 59 years in prison.
“Kayla Gerdes’ actions before, during, and after the crash prove that she cared more about her pills than the innocent woman she had just struck and killed,” District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. “This was a senseless tragedy that further underscores the perils of prescription drug abuse, and my office will continue to aggressively investigate, arrest, and prosecute doctors and pharmacists who illegally flood our streets with these dangerously addictive drugs.”
Rice said after the crash, Gerdes was found found to be carrying a stolen doctor’s prescription pad and a pill bottle containing Xanax and oxycodone.
Federal charges are pending against Lutful Chowdhury, the Baldwin pharmacist who apparently sold Gerdes the pills. He is accused of illegally filling prescriptions for painkillers.
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