A woman who was high on meth when she crashed into another car killing the driver, was sentenced to four years in prison Monday.
Cynthia Silva, 36, rear-ended 53-year-old Shirley Van Why on I-40 east near 98th Street back in 2016.
Silva pleaded no contest to vehicular homicide in April, but Monday in court she learned her fate. With a packed courtroom on both sides, Silva’s 13 and 15-year-old children looked on.
“You Cynthia Silva, slammed into the back of my Shirley’s car like you were a monster truck,” said Robert Van Why.
Emotions ran high in court as family of the Shirley Van Why pled for the toughest sentence for her killer.
“I just wanted to save her, hold her, give her a breath of air to keep her alive,” said Shirley’s husband.
Robert Van Why said he pulled up on the crash that killed his wife.
“No jail time can ever be equivalent to the lifetime sentence we have been given,” said Shirley’s son Beau Van Why.
As part of the plea deal, Silva’s sentence is to be capped at six years, although she faced 15.
In court Monday, the defense argued for probation only, saying prosecutors would have had trouble proving Silva was driving high on meth. They claimed she took the meth in the hospital after the crash.
Silva also spoke saying she had turned her life around, and apologized.
“Please except my deepest condolences, apologies and heartfelt sympathy from myself and on behalf of my family,” said Cynthia Silva.
Judge Alisa Hart ended up only giving Silva four years with five years probation.
“This was a senseless crime, resulting in devastating loss and unbearable pain,” said Judge Hart.
It was a sentence the family of Shirley Van Why said they could accept.
“She’d feel that it’s a fair sentence, but at the same time she’d know that even though no amount of times behind bars can bring back a life, no justice can bring back the loss that you have,” said Beau Van Why.
KRQE News 13 reached the District Attorney’s office to find out why they offered this plea deal.
A spokesperson said there were concerns proving the case which they discussed with the family. The family agreed to a six year cap on the sentence.