Probation Sentence In Tatum Racing Trial - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Probation Sentence In Tatum Racing Trial

20-year-old David Reid, convicted of killing four girls in a 2003 racing incident in Tatum, was handed an eight-year probated sentence late this afternoon by a Henderson jury. Reid was racing at speeds of 99 miles per hour in the 2003 accident that also claimed the life of his sister. The sentencing phase began this morning with prosecutors recommending a four-year jail sentence for Reid. The defense was seeking probation.

Reid spoke before sentencing went to the jury, calmly accepting responsibility for what he called his half of the accident.

"This was a case with a lot of emotion. Because four girls got killed ,that's why the jury just couldn't let him walk and he knew that," said Reid's attorney Darryl Bennett.

Families and friends on both sides waited nervously for two hours for the verdict. With many in tears on both sides, the eight-year probated sentence took many by surprise. A probated sentence was a relief for the Reid family. It meant that David would never spend one day in prison. But, for other families, the families of the four girls, it was a lot less justice than they had hoped for.

"I was very shocked.  I looked at it as he killed four people. I felt like he should have served some time behind bars", said Jaicey Robberson's aunt Melissa Bennefield.

"I hate what happened that night and I'll never be the same without my daughter," said Jaicey's father, Jim Robberson.

Victims' families still felt there was some victory in the conviction and sentence, saying it proved Jaicey Robberson did not cause the accident.

"They were able to do the one thing that we'd been saying all along.  Jaicey wasn't at fault, she never saw it coming.  To be able to walk freely out of the courtroom, do whatever he wants that I don't see as justice," said Bennefield.

Reid apologized to the victims families after sentencing, something they had waited almost two years for.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.


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