Sentencing Begins In Teen Drunk Driving Case - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/14/04-Longview

Sentencing Begins In Teen Drunk Driving Case

In just a matter of minutes, two families were changed forever. Back in August, 18 year old Lauren Frazier was preparing to leave for college at Baylor. But the night before Lauren would leave, she was killed, hit by a drunk driver. That driver was 16 year old Natalie White.

Now 17, Natalie pleaded guilty for intoxication manslaughter. Today the sentencing phase began. In the courtroom today, friends and family of both girls gave emotional pleas.

Natalie White sat quietly as witnesses talked about the fatal accident. The prosecution quickly called Lauren Frazier's mother. Lauren's boyfriend and parents were also involved in the accident.

"I remember looking at her until I felt this sudden breaking in the car. So I turned to look and I saw this red car right in front of us. About that time I felt a turn or swerve," says Lauren's mother Tonya.

Lauren, the youngest of three daughters, was gone.

"She was just such a gorgeous, beautiful kid and had these eyes that sparkle and this gorgeous smile. She just walked in and smiled and people would just have to gaze at her," says Tonya.

Natalie's mother also testified. Barely audible, she told the Frazier family how sorry she was for their loss.

A Bible study leader told jurors how the accident had impacted Natalie. "The Natalie I know now is not the Natalie I knew before. Her participation at the Bible study is different. Her level of interest is more urgent. Her questions are deeper," says Kathy Brown.

The most dramatic testimony came as Lauren's parents explained how her death has impacted their lives. "Probably you could just say I'm a wreck," says an emotional Tonya.

"I have no ambition, no vision, no drive. The only reason I do what I do, is for those two girls, my wife and those grandparents sitting there," says Wayne Frazier as he pointed to his family.

Testimony in the sentencing phase will resume tomorrow morning. Natalie White is facing two to twenty years in prison.

Amy Tatum, reporting. atatum@kltv.com

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