A woman who was drunk when her all-terrain vehicle flipped over and crushed her best friend to death now faces a felony manslaughter charge, CBS reported.
Carlee D’Aratta, who has had a history of alcohol abuse, may face up to 10 years in prison for the death of Antonette Thevenin, a longtime family friend.
But the manslaughter charge is not enough punishment, according to Thevenin’s family, who believe that D’Aratta should have been charged with murder.
“They should have filed the second-degree murder charge,” said Gina Marie Brown, the victim’s older sister.
“She’s my baby. This is like losing a child for me,” Brown added.
Thevenin, 31, died in April in an ATV accident during an Easter egg hunt. D’Arata was driving the vehicle while intoxicated.
D’Arata has been a family friend to Thevenin for years. She even worked in the same office with Thevenin, as well as the victim’s mother and older sister.
Brown, who was 18 years older than her sister when the accident occured, knew that D’Aratta had a drinking problem for a long time.
“I spent a lot of countless days, hours, years talking with Carlee about recovery,” Brown said.
According to the victim’s mother, D’Arata and her husband never came forward to say they were sorry or even sent a card.
When the family heard about the manslaughter charges, they we outraged, especially given D’Arata’s prior run-ins with the law.
“Unfortunately, I don’t have any remorse for her right now,” said Strom, the victim’s mother. “Her going to prison is not going to bring my daughter back. But she gets to see her children when she comes out too.”
Strom said that she knows that prison can’t bring her daughter back, but expected more from a best friend.
“I know one thing, she gets to tuck her kids in at night for the last four months while my granddaughter cries herself to sleep for her mom,” Strom said about Thevenin’s daughter, Nevaeh, 11.
D’Aratta is set to appear in court in September. In filing the charges, prosecutors considered D’Arata’s background and considered input from Thevenin’s family, according to Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell.