After spending three days in trial, Tanjia Colleen Smith pleaded guilty to charges of intoxication manslaughter stemming from a July 2010 accident that claimed the life of 55-year-old Dudley Butaud.
Butaud was on his way home to celebrate his 30th anniversary with his wife Kathy when the accident occurred on Highway 365.
Prosecutors submitted evidence that showed Smith claimed to have consumed three beers to emergency responders at the scene of the accident, and at the time wreaked of alcohol. Two beers that were cold to the touch were found attached to the six-pack plastic ring in the cab of the truck she was driving.
She was brought to Christus St. Elizabeth for treatment where a nurse treating her said she was became belligerent, and upon finding out about Butaud’s death, yelled at her husband, “I did not f***ing hit him. He hit me… It’s not my fault he f***ing hit me.”
A blood test showed that her blood alcohol content was .253 after the accident, more than three times the legal limit.
Smith was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison.