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Mother Pleads Guilty In Fatal DWI Case


Amber Sandvig Garris will spend between 12 and 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in a DWI crash that killed her 6-year-old daughter.

Alanna Garris (Courtesy: Mike Sandvig)

Amber Sandvig Garris will spend between 12 and 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges in a DWI crash that killed her 6-year-old daughter.

The 25 year old pleaded guilty to felony death by motor vehicle, two counts of felony child abuse, possession of paraphernalia, felony serious injury by motor vehicle and assault with a deadly weapon. She will also have to submit to a psychiatric evaluation and substance abuse treatment in prison. After her prison term, Garris will be on supervised probation for 5 years. She is also required to pay $423,278.80 in restitution.

State troopers said the mother was driving along Brices Creek Road in February 22, 2013 with her six-year-old daughter, Alanna, and two-year-old son in the vehicle.

Investigators said the mother wrecked the vehicle, and Alanna was killed in that wreck. A witness behind Garris said the car was weaving and at one point crossed the center line.

Garris and her two-year-old son, Allan Blaze, were also injured.

After lab results came back, investigators said oxycodone was found in Garris' system. In addition, the district attorney said drug paraphernalia, including a syringe containing liquid, pills and a burnt spoon were found in her vehicle.

Troopers charged the then 24-year-old mom with felony death by motor vehicle, three counts of felony serious injury by vehicle and two counts of felony child abuse.

Troopers say Julie and Michael Payne also suffered injuries in the crash, with Julie's being severe. She underwent ten surgeries on her legs in the five months after the collision.


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