Drunk Driver Who Killed Man Sentenced
Lori Phillips gets 20 year sentence
ANCHORAGE - An Anchorage woman who drove drunk on the Seward Highway and caused a fatal crash received a 20-year sentence in an Anchorage courtroom on Friday. Lori Phillips was convicted of second-degree murder for the 2009 crash that killed 23-year-old Louis Clement and seriously injured his fiancé Joyua Stovall.
Stovall told the judge she still suffers pain from the wreck but the pain her children feel hurts her even more.
“I have to hear my youngest one ask all the time where her father is and why doesn't her dad come hold her,” said Stovall.
Lori Phillips chose not to speak at the sentencing hearing at all. She listened as friends filled in the details of her life, how she’d once been a chief financial officer for a big oil company.
But state prosecutors say the well-educated Phillips should have been smart enough to address her drinking problem much earlier.
“The first time the light bulb should have gone on for her was in 1983 when she got arrested for DUI,” said state prosecutor Clint Campion.
But Phillips didn’t stop. On the day of the fatal crash some 26 years later Phillips had at least eighteen drinks in her system by 2:30 in the afternoon.
“Which means,“ says judge Philip Volland, “if she got up at 8 o'clock in the morning she had three drinks an hour every hour that day… and then got in the car and drove.”
The judge said the 20-year sentence would help ease concerns that Phillips would be back behind the wheel any time soon. The sentence means she will be eligible for parole in 17 years when she will be 75 years old.