Summary:

Paragraph 3 reads: "In testimony during her trial, Ms. Crumpton described a history of severe depression and drug use. The one-time Waxahachie High School homecoming queen, cheerleader and college soccer player said she had run out of medication when she decided to kill herself by yanking the steering wheel of her Ford Explorer as she drove south on Interstate 35E."


http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-suicidedriver_26met.ART.North.Edition1.3ed7d80.html



Woman gets 10 years for suicide-try-turned-slaying

She drove SUV into oncoming traffic, killing another motorist

12:00 AM CDT on Saturday, August 26, 2006
By ROBERT THARP / The Dallas Morning News

A 20-year-old Waxahachie woman who tried to commit suicide in her SUV but instead killed another motorist was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday.

The jury's maximum sentence stunned Lindsey Crumpton and her supporters, who had pleaded for probation. The punishment verdict came as Ms. Crumpton was having an emotional meeting behind closed doors with the 18-year-old daughter of Kristina Kelly Bartlett, who was killed in the November 2004 crash.

In testimony during her trial, Ms. Crumpton described a history of severe depression and drug use. The one-time Waxahachie High School homecoming queen, cheerleader and college soccer player said she had run out of medication when she decided to kill herself by yanking the steering wheel of her Ford Explorer as she drove south on Interstate 35E.

She said she was focused on suicide and did not consider that her actions were dangerous to others on the road.

"Dying was the only thing I was thinking of that night," she said. "I turned the wheel, and that's the last thing I remember."

But under cross-examination by prosecutor Trey Crutcher, Ms. Crumpton acknowledged that she knew her actions were dangerous because she purposely left her puppy at home. "I didn't want my puppy to be killed," she said.

Mr. Crutcher also questioned why Ms. Crumpton had not jerked the steering wheel to the right, which would have prevented any chance of colliding with another car. She responded that she did not know why she turned her car toward oncoming traffic.

Ms. Crumpton denied that she was directly responsible for the death of Ms. Bartlett, 47, saying that she only set in motion a chain of events that resulted in her death.

The jury of 10 women and two men convicted her of criminally negligent homicide, concluding that a "reasonable person" would have known that her actions were dangerous.

Ms. Crumpton's attorney, Reed Prospere, suggested that Ms. Crumpton's severe depression excluded her from the legal definition of a reasonable person.

Ms. Bartlett had traveled from California on a business trip and was returning to Dallas from Waco on I-35E when her rental car was struck by Ms. Lindsey's vehicle between Bear Creek and Parkerville roads.

Ms. Bartlett's daughter, Kelly Bartlett, said Ms. Crumpton should have been more careful and asked jurors to sentence her to time in prison.

"That's so selfish," Kelly Bartlett said. "You've been on the road your whole life. You know there's other cars."

All parties including the jury left the courthouse in tears after the trial and declined to comment about the outcome. By law, Ms. Crumpton must serve at least five years in prison before she's eligible for parole.

E-mail rtharp@dallasnews.com