MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Months after a retired 69-year-old Long Island doctor was killed mowing her lawn, the woman charged in her death was apologetic Tuesday and told reporters she was “really sorry.”

Kayla Gerdes, charged with second-degree manslaughter faces up to 15 years in the death of Dr. Rebecca Twine, of Hempstead.

As she was led into a Mineola courtroom Tuesday, Gerdes, 19, told reporters she was not “the monster that I’ve been portrayed to be.”

“I’m so sorry for the family. I’m really sorry,” she said.

The words were in sharp contrast to Gerdes’ reaction shortly after the tragedy occurred in April 20 of last year. In a police statement given by Gerdes following the accident, the Freeport woman said “the thing that made me not feel so bad was she was old.”

Scene of the crash in Hempstead (Photo/CBS 2)

The victim’s son said that comment has remained a bitter pill to swallow.

“If this goes to trial, the public will see just how despicable and disgusting of a person she is,” Chauncey Twine said.

Once inside the courtroom, Gerdes began sobbing and rejected a guilty plea in favor of going through with a trial.

Gerdes’ lawyer, John Lewis Jr., complained the plea deal wasn’t much of a deal at all. He said his client would rather take her chances with a jury.

Twine’s anguished family came to court hoping Gerdes would admit guilt.

“It’s been a complete nightmare. I mean I can’t even put into words just how painful dealing with this whole thing has been,” Chauncey Twine said.

Gerdes’ mother also told reporters Tuesday that she was “very devastated” and “very heartbroken for the family.”

Prosecutors said Gerdes was speeding and high on Xanax and oxycodone when she lost control of the van she was driving and drove 100 feet onto Twine’s lawn.

Gerdes’ lawyer said his client has “always been remorseful.”

“The media made her out to be a monster and she’s not. She’s just a confused young girl,” Lewis said.

Jennifer McLogan

Comments (11)
  1. Honestly says:

    Flush this piece of excrement.

  2. franckie says:

    she was always a poor lost child looking for her mother’s love. her mother was always looking for something else, a man as there was never a father. her mother was at fault for that. children need both parents. her mother could never have cared less and was always out for a good time. i knew them both. SHAME on her mother.

  3. who says:

    i knew kayla personally and know she feels bad for what she did and can not change what happen. its just the end result of taking drugs and being confused.

    1. Lewis Chiu says:

      I feel bad for Kayla. She was 18 years old and she made a very bad mistake which will haunt her for the rest of her life. She’s been going through hell since the accident last April.

  4. staggerlee says:

    If the son was such a caring man where was he? He should have been mowing his mother’s lawn not her. The young woman made a mistake and she will pay for it forever in her heart. Leave her be

  5. Just Me says:

    OH please…all you people need to shut up…she is young and made a mistake!!! I’m not making excuses for her but …god doesn’t like ugly….like you people are perfect…could have happened to anyone!! im sure there are some people in your family who have done some messed up stuff….And lets not forget she had a drug problem which is a serious disease in this country…some of your family members probably sold it to her….i am sorry for the family and my heart goes out to them but you people are more monster than she is….Have a heart..be more open minded…its not like she seen the lady and said hey lets hit her….its called an accident…Compassion and forgiveness go a long way…she has a very long and rough road a head of her..prison is no weekend spa….she will pay for her mistakes ……

  6. I, the Jury says:

    Her conviction should be for “depraved indifference murder”. Nothing less.

  7. the bandid says:

    she is not a confused young lady, she was high on drugs and speeding, she should have been charge with murder and send away for life, we do not need her kind driving around NYC

  8. DanTe says:

    Gods she hit the wall fast. Good thing she’s taken out of circulation. BEFORE she spawned and further infest the gene pool.

  9. Captain Obvious says:

    “the thing that made me not feel so bad was she was old.”

    Quite possibly one of the most despicable things I have ever heard.

    I hope the prosecution has no trouble getting that statement admitted – once the jury hears that, Gerdes is finished.

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