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I-Team: Jessica Williams tells parole board she fears life outside of prison

LAS VEGAS - A woman who's served 18 years for the DUI deaths of six teenagers told the Nevada parole board that she is terrified of ever being released from prison.

Jessica Williams has spent nearly half her life behind bars and admitted she doesn't really know how to live on the outside.

The I-Team has followed the case from the beginning and was at the parole hearing Tuesday afternoon. 

Emotions are always hovering just below the surface for Williams and the families of the victims.

Tuesday's appearance was Williams' fifth time before the parole board, so commissioners know her case all too well.

The incident in March 2000 resulted in the deaths of six teenagers who were picking up trash in the median of Interstate 15.  Williams, who was 20 years old at the time, fell asleep at the wheel. Her vehicle struck and killed the youngsters. 

The police and the jury agreed Williams was not impaired at the time, but she had trace amounts of marijuana in her system, so she was convicted of six counts of DUI related deaths. Williams was sentenced to six consecutive prison terms. 

After 18 years behind bars, she admitted she is scared about eventually living on the outside because all she knows is prison. When asked what she would say to the victims' loved ones, she struggled.

"That's the problem. Words are so meaningless sometimes," Williams said.  "How do you apologize for someone's child being in a grave? It's been 18 years and I still don't know the words for that. I don't know how to find that. I don't know what else to do; I don't know how to put that into words. How do you apologize for the death of someone's child or brother or sister? I don't know."

Williams told the board she is working on a bachelor's degree, has job offers for when she is eventually allowed to transition back into the outside world, but that won't be for awhile. The full board will have to decide on this sentence; then she has a sixth case to resolve before she could be released.

Williams had a group of supporters at her side Tuesday. None of the victim's families were present, but in the past, several of them have told us they forgave her long ago. 

The victims, ages 14 to 16, were Scott Garner, Alberto Puig, Anthony Smith, Rebecca Glicken, Malena Stoltzfus, and Jennifer Booth.

The board still hasn't made a decision.


 


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