Drugged-up US cyclist gets 20 year jail term for swerving on a highway

Whilst radio-tuning, latte-slurping, cellphone-talking motorists get little more than ticking offs for mowing down and killing cyclists, a US judge has banged up a reckless cyclist who caused the death of two passengers in a truck which was hit by a car swerving to avoid hitting the female cyclist. She was found guilty of 'culpable negligence manslaughter', a charge that is rarely enforced on motorists involved in similar incidents. She did, however, have previous driving and drug convictions so on a three-strikes-and-you're-out basis was handed a tough sentence. The trial was filmed for Court TV.
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The St Petersburg Times of Tampa Bay, Florida, reports that Laura Roberts was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Pasco-Pinellas Circuit Judge Michael Andrews.

On February 27th 2000, 40-year old Roberts took Xanax and Valium and drank beer before riding her bicycle along US Highway 19 in Hudson, Florida.

The effects of the pills and alcohol made Roberts "unsteady and reckless" said prosecutors and caused her to ride into the path of a rental car which collided with a Nissan pickup, injuring the driver and killing his girlfriend and mother.

Before she was sentenced on Thursday afternoon, 4Roberts said she was sorry for what happened and pleaded for leniency, reports The St Petersburg Times. But in delivering the sentence, Judge Andrews said Roberts had convictions for driving-under-the-influence in 1993 and attempting to purchase cocaine in 2001.


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