Sentencing/Post Conviction

Heartless Jailhouse Call Rings Up Maximum Prison Term

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A twice-convicted drunken driver got the maximum prison term for her latest offense—a little over 10 years—after a jailhouse phone call in which she laughed about driving into and killing a bicyclist while intoxicated was played at her sentencing hearing in Arizona.

Characterizing the conversation as “breathtaking in its inhumanity,” Pima County Superior Court Judge Michael Cruikshank sentenced Melissa Arrington, 27, to the maximum for negligent homicide, reports ABC News in an article that provides a link to an audiotape of the call. Arrington had been acquitted by a jury on a more serious charge of manslaughter.

The phone call came to the court’s attention after Deputy Pima County Attorney Jonathan Mosher heard it as part of a routine jailhouse communications review. He tried to introduce it as evidence at Arrington’s trial, but Cruikshank decided it would more appropriately be heard at sentencing.

Arrington’s attorney says the call doesn’t reflect her true feelings about the crime.

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