CHADRON – A woman who failed to show up in Dawes County District Court two weeks ago to be sentenced for the death of a 6-year old girl in a drunk driving accident nearly 3 years ago will spend up to 24 years in prison for the accident.
35-year-old Kimberly Eagle Bull was arrested the day after missing sentencing and remained in custody until appearing before District Judge Travis O’Gorman on Tuesday.
O’Gorman gave Eagle Bull 18-to-20 years for Motor Vehicle Homicide, 3 years for DUI Causing Serious Bodily Injury, and 1-year each for False Reporting and Transporting a Child While Intoxicated. All will run consecutively except the second 1-year term.
With credit for 97 days already served, Eagle Bull will be eligible for parole under Nebraska’s good time law in 11 years and for mandatory release in 12 years.
Dawes County Attorney Vance Haug said afterward that nothing could bring back 6-year old Christina Roubideaux, but the Judge O’Gorman made an effort in that direction.
Haug had recommended a prison sentence for Eagle Bull, saying that while her criminal history wasn’t that bad, she tested out in almost all categories as a high risk to offend – hitting the maximum on anti-social behavior with extreme problems with alcohol and coping skills.
Haug reminded O’Gorman that Eagle Bull not only had been drinking but also huffing as she drove 3 children without seat belts or safety seats and that one of the 2 children who survived suffered a broken pelvis and the mental trauma of watching his younger sister died.
Haug also read from a letter by a family member who said that Christina was “the glue that held us together” and who is missed every day. The letter said they saw no remorse in Eagle Bull, who walked away from the children to hide evidence at the scene rather than help them.
Public Defender Becca Chasek countered by saying Eagle Bull is very remorseful and blames herself completely, often saying the accident and death will follow her forever and that her life is over. Chasek also said Eagle Bull is a vital caretaker for her ailing mother and asked O’Gorman to “judge her for who she really is.”
In handing down the sentence, O’Gorman called the case “just a horrible incident” that ended in the worst-case scenario of drunk driving. He said he “can’t look past the nature or result of the accident, and that to give Eagle Bull anything less than a lengthy prison term would depreciate the crime.