A woman who was texting while driving drunk and high when she killed a couple on a motorcycle was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison.
Douglas District Court Judge Shay Whitaker sentenced Athina Munoz, 28, to 10 years each on two counts vehicular homicide – DUI to be served in the Department of Corrections for the deaths of Brian Lehner, 58, and Jacquie Lehner, 56, of Parker.
On Feb. 27, 2016, Munoz was driving a 1997 Honda Accord sedan southbound on Colorado 83 south of Franktown. She veered into oncoming traffic and hit the northbound motorcycle the Lehners were driving.
Prosecutors told the court that a blood test 2 ½ hours after the crash found that Munoz had a blood-alcohol level of 0.265 and a THC level of 6.0 nanograms per milliliter. She was more than three times the legal limit for alcohol and over the 5.0 limit for marijuana.
“Driving under the influence is a scourge in this jurisdiction,” District Attorney George H. Brauchler told the court in asking for the maximum sentence of 24 years. “What is most insidious about the decision to drink and drive … is that we can do nothing to protect ourselves from it.
“I’m asking you to send a message to the community about what we think about that scourge.”
The couple’s sons were among many family members and supporters who spoke at the sentencing hearing.
“Nothing prepares you for something like this — to lose the two most influential people in your life,” Jake Lehner told the court. “All of that’s gone now… that’s all been stolen from me.”
His older brother CJ Lehner also spoke:
“My mother and father were killed by one person who has proven time and time again that she lives selfishly and carelessly. … This person has killed and hurt people in the past and present … she should serve jail time.”
The last to speak was Mark Lehner, the oldest son, who addressed the court with his wife and son. The Lehners only got to see their only grandchild once before they were killed.
“The thing I have been struggling with most is regret … I didn’t know I would never see them again .. that’s what haunts me most,” Mark Lehner said.
He added: “I would ask for the max sentence as … I do not want anybody to have to deal with every night, thinking about their parents lying there, thinking about them as they were dying.”