Drunk Driving Sentence Leaves Family Outraged

An East Texas woman guilty of intoxication manslaughter is dealt an unusual punishment by an Upshur County court. 33-year-old Kristel Hock will not be going immediately to jail. Instead, she's been given 10 years of probation on intoxication manslaughter charges.  She's also been told not to have any more children while under that probation. The Brown family of West Mountain still can't believe a judge's decision in a case where their son was killed.

"I held out the belief that truth and justice would prevail in the end.  Obviously, I was wrong," said Mary Ann Brown who's son was killed in the accident.

In April 2004, 26-year-old Gregory Brown was killed when a drunk driver veered into his lane and hit him head-on. That drunk driver was Kristel Hock.

"My God tells me that when you do something wrong, you have to make amends, you have to make it right.  Miss Hock has never contacted us, never said she was sorry," Brown said.

Hock has been arrested in the past on alcohol and drug charges. Another reason her sentence shocked the Browns.

"This person is going to go out again.  There's no type of monitoring you can put on a vehicle.  She's going to drive again," said Gregory's father Chuck Brown.

When the case did go to trial, Hock showed up eight months pregnant.

"There's no question that was an important factor in the judge's decision.  He stated that from the bench," said Upshur County District Attorney Mike Fetter.

A visiting judge sentenced Hock to 10 years probation, her license revoked for 10 years, and to have no more children during her probation period. Little consolation for the Browns.

"What's difficult is going out to the cemetery and seeing a piece of dirt and knowing that your son's underneath there and no justice has been done," Chuck said.

Hock must perform 400 hours of community service, and must serve 180 days jail time a year after her child is born. The Brown family wants the case to be reviewed by the state attorney general.

Bob Hallmark, reporting.