ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A judge sentenced Elexus Groves to 25 and a half years in prison on Tuesday for causing a crash that killed a mother and daughter. Groves admitted to being high on meth and driving with her then-boyfriend Paul Garcia in a stolen van and fleeing from police when she hit a car near Copper and Juan Tabo in 2017.
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Shaunna Arredondo-Boling and her 14-year-old daughter Shaylee died while Arredondo-Boling’s young son was injured. The family was on the way to school.
In August, a jury convicted her of vehicular homicide and other charges including great bodily harm, car theft, and fleeing from police. Garcia, who was the passenger in the stolen vehicle, took a plea deal and was sentenced to six years.
“She will leave prison at the age of 41. That is ample time, an opportunity that is not available to Shaylee or Shauna,” said Judge Brett Loveless.
During sentencing, Groves tearfully read a letter that she wrote to Shauna and Shaylee’s family, who asked the judge for the max sentence. “I’m so sorry, Jason, Shauna and Shaylee for causing you harm. I never meant to. A lot of lives changed that day and I pray every day for your family,” said Groves.
“My family’s hearts will forever be filled with grief for the loss of these two, beautiful girls that didnt deserve to die. There is no time limit when it comes to grief,” said Shauna’s mother, Diane Boling.
Judge Loveless called the incident violent, reckless and catastrophic before sentencing Groves. With good time, she could be out in about 15 years. At trial, it came out that Groves was under the influence of meth at the time of the crash. Had investigators been able to prove that beforehand, she could have faced even more time.