A Hays County jury has sentenced a 22-year-old woman who drove drunk and slammed into a car, killing a man and his unborn child, to at least 7 years in prison. On Friday afternoon, just before 2 p.m., the judge read the jury’s decision.
The jury sentenced Shana Elliott to 10 years probation for one count of intoxication assault, seven years in prison for one count of intoxication manslaughter, and another seven years in prison for a second count of intoxication manslaughter. The judge will decide whether the two prison sentences will be served concurrently or consecutively.
As the judge read the verdict, Elliott could be seen crying. After the sentencing, Kristian Guerrero gave an emotional victim impact statement addressing Elliott: “Don’t cry. Don’t cry.”
For the next seven minutes, Guerrero put all her emotions front and center and made it very clear that she did not believe Elliott was remorseful.
“You have shown you’re incapable of remorse. I don’t buy your crocodile tears or the sweet little innocent girl they try to portray you to be. You’re a monster and you’re not sorry for what you’ve done. You’re sorry because it landed you right there. You’re sorry because you got caught,” said Guerrero.
The jury started deliberating Thursday afternoon after an emotional three days of witness testimony. Elliott took the stand Thursday morning and said, “I’m guilty.” She admitted to being intoxicated and should not have been driving the evening of Aug. 2, 2016 after a day of tubing on the San Marcos River.
During her testimony, prosecutors showed the jury the liquor bottle found in Elliott’s car and a large bag of marijuana that was found at her home. Elliott admitted to being addicted to heroin at one time, she said she smoked marijuana, but never did meth. She says after a previous arrest for drugs she had plans to sober up — she was on probation for those drug possession charges when the crash happened.
Elliot claimed she had a rough childhood and was emotionally abused by her step-father. Her attorney urged jurors to take her difficult upbringing into account in their decision.
On Friday, Guerrero told Elliot her upbringing was no excuse for what she did.
“I don’t care about your troubled childhood. I had one, too. It’s no coincidence you haven’t seen my mother and my biological father in this courtroom since this trial has started. I grew up messed up, too. I didn’t have anyone coming to my rescue to bail me out of anything. I had to grow up fast. My husband, his family came over here with nothing. They worked day in and day out for their family,” Guerrero said, adding, “Did you see us out there doing anything illegal? Did you see us out there selling drugs? Did you see us out there murdering people? No. And that’s the difference between you and me.”
Guerrero went on to say that she didn’t believe Elliot’s remorse was sincere. Guerrero claimed Elliot tried to tell police she had seen the Guerreros at the river drinking before the crash and that they had caused the accident.
“You said you pray for forgiveness?” Guerrero asked on the stand. “Is that before or after you accused us of drinking at the same place you were? While my husband was in the room dying, you were outside accusing us of being drunk. “How do you live with yourself?”
During closing arguments, Elliott’s attorney asked the jury to give her probation since she has already spent more than a year in jail. The jury could’ve given Elliot probation or up to 20 years behind bars for each of the two intoxication manslaughter charges.