Judge sentences woman in crash that killed Normal Park teacher
It was an emotional day inside a Hamilton County courtroom as a woman admitted to causing a crash that killed a Normal Park teacher.
Nashale Massengile admitted she was speeding and driving without insurance when she hit a car driven by Bethany Schklar on Brainerd Road in January.
Investigators and prosecutors explained during Tuesday's hearing they didn't feel like they had enough evidence to prove a more serious charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
"I'm sorry. I just wish this would have never happened and if I could take it away or turn back time, I would do anything," Massengile said as she addressed the court Tuesday.
Massengile pleaded guilty Tuesday, saying she didn't mean to cause the crash.
Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Lila Statom sentenced Massengile to 90 days in jail, nine months on house arrest and 30 days community service, including sharing her story with local high school students, saying Massengile's decisions will impact Avery and the rest of Schklar's family for the rest of their lives.
"As a result of your decisions that were made that day, [Avery] will never move on," Judge Statom said during the hearing.
Avery addressed the court about losing her daughter, saying Tennessee law doesn't allow the consequences to fit the crime.
"Prosecutors, police, and the courts need sharper tools when it comes to being able to press charges that actually reflect what happened, especially in the case of a fatality, like my daughter's," she added.
Avery hopes to help lawmaker's change that, and in turn, keep her daughter's memory alive.
"I've thought over and over about how Bethany talked to me about love and logic and how consequences have to match the impact of the actions. She was a teacher, she cared about how her kids developed their character, not just their academics," she said.
Massengile is out on bond while her attorney appeals the judge's sentence.