Brianna Watson begins 5 year sentence in teen's death in crash

Published: May. 21, 2019 at 5:43 PM EDT
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The family's of defendant Brianna Watson and victim Sydney Peffer have both seen a courtroom for the final time following a 5 year sentence handed down by an Anderson County judge.

Watson was sentenced following a reckless homicide charge in a crash that killed a teenager in 2017. Officials said Watson had been drinking at a party when she drove herself and Peffer, later crashing on Alton Station Road killing the 17-year-old. The exact amount of alcohol found in Watson's blood was never released.

She originally was charged with manslaughter but later accepted a plea agreement -- taking on the reckless homicide charge.

On Tuesday, Watson stood before a judge and was sentenced the recommended five years in a state correctional facility. Her attorney argued probation would have been a suitable punishment. Watson has been on house arrest for nearly two years, only allowed to attend church and other approved functions.

"Sydney made the decision to get into that car," said a family member of Peffer during an impact statement given during the sentencing. "She paid the ultimate consequence."

Family members say they do forgive Watson and acknowledge that a bad decision was made on the part of Peffer as well. They now want the image of Watson in cuffs to represent an image to other teenagers on the dangers of drinking and driving.

"it is appropriate," said Peffer's cousin Whitley Wise when asked if she thought the sentence was enough. "This will show teenagers that you can't do this without consequences."

Since the tragedy, Peffer's family has held vigils and events about the dangers of drinking and driving.

It is unknown which correctional facility Watson will be sent to at this time.

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