Adacia Avery Chambers, the young Stillwater woman who drove her car into a crowd at the Oklahoma State University homecoming parade, has pleaded no contest to the murder and assault charges against her.
Chambers, now 26, was set to go to trial this morning, but instead she entered a plea of no contest to four counts of second degree murder and 39 counts of assault and battery by force or means likely to produce death. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Chambers will receive a life sentence for each of the four murder counts against her. These four life sentences are to run concurrently. Additionally, she is ordered to serve 10 years in prison for each of the 39 assault charges. These are also to run concurrently with each other; however, they will be consecutive to the life sentences.
Both second degree murder and assault and battery by means or force likely to produce death are 85 percent crimes. This means that Chambers would be required to serve the majority of her sentences before becoming eligible for parole. A life sentence is calculated at 45 years, meaning a person sentenced to life is not parole eligible for more than 38 years. Chambers has an additional 10 years on the end of her life sentence, and she would be required to serve 85 percent of that sentence as well before becoming parole eligible. This means that the 26-year-old woman could become eligible for parole when she is roughly 72 years old.
Until news leaked that Chambers was likely to enter a plea agreement, her defense attorney maintained that he planned to use the woman's history of mental illness and perhaps her insanity at the time of the crash in her defense.
Chambers has a long history of mental illness, and a witness to the crash says she said immediately afterward that she wanted "to be free," implying suicidal intent. In the days and weeks after the crash, the woman was found mentally incompetent to assist in her defense. However, after treatment at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita, her competency was restored and she was ordered to stand trial.
The October 2015 crash killed four parade attendees, including a retired OSU professor and his wife, a University of Central Oklahoma student, and a two-year-old boy. Dozens of others were injured in the crash.
Image credit: Payne County Jail
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