SALEM The woman convicted of killing two teens while high on prescription drugs has been sentenced to nearly 26 years in prison.
In September 2010, Sophia Downing drove her SUV into a group of students near Chemeketa Community College in 2010, while she was allegedly high on prescription drugs. Two of the teens died and a third was critically injured.
Sophia Downing was sentenced Wednesday evening after a long day of testimony in a Marion County courtroom.
Judge Dennis Graves heard from victims families, the survivor, psychologists and guards before deciding Downing's penalty. Judge Graves could have sentenced Downing to up to 52 years in prison, but gave her 310 months, which is half the maximum.
There's no sentence I can impose that will ever replace those that were lost or erase the pain, said Judge Graves as he gave his decision. This is a tragedy.
In April, jurors convicted Downing of two manslaughter counts, assault, reckless endangerment and DUII.
Before the sentence was revealed, Downing tearfully read from a hand written statement, apologizing to the families of the dead and injured. I did not intend to do this, and I did try to help. It was my unintentional fault and I'm deeply sorry for the pain, loss and turmoil I have brought to you.
Lois Green, the mother of one of the teens killed, had hoped Downing would get the maximum sentence. I've come to the realization that she's never going to spend the time that I want her to spend. Otherwise, if she got the sentence I wanted, she'd be dragged by a car like my daughter was, Green said.