Woman pleads guilty, sentenced to probation for deadly crash
MONTGOMERY CITY - A Columbia woman entered a guilty plea and was sentenced Monday in connection with a deadly crash in Montgomery County in 2012.
Kelli Smith, 27, pleaded guilty to careless and imprudent driving, and will serve two years of probation. Part of her sentence includes “shock time” at the Montgomery County jail; shock time is when a person spends a short amount of time in jail in the hopes the experience will deter the person from further criminal activity.
In 2012, Smith was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter following the wrong-way crash which killed Thomas Sullivan. Smith claimed she was not drunk, but had been given a date rape drug that night which caused her to be impaired while driving. A jury convicted Smith, but an appeals court overturned that conviction in 2015, ruling the jurors in the trial didn’t get sufficient instructions on how to consider Smith’s blood-alcohol content.
On Monday, Smith entered what’s known as an “Alford plea,” in which someone pleads guilty to a crime, but does not admit guilt. Her jail “shock time” is scheduled to begin in December. During her probation, Smith will not be allowed to drink, have, or buy alcohol, or go into any business whose primary services include the sale of alcohol.