A former Wichita Falls police officer found guilty on three counts of manslaughter is ordered to serve 8 years in prison.
Teddie Whitefield was found guilty by Wichita County Judge Bob Brotherton Tuesday morning. The court then heard from the victim's family and from those close to Whitefield. The testimony was intended to help Judge Brotherton determine a sentence.
Judge Brotherton sentenced Whitefield to a total of 8 years for the deaths of two teenage females and an unborn baby.
Yeni Lopez, 18, her unborn child and Gloria Montoya, 13, were killed on June 30, 2011.
Whitefield, who was on duty at the time, was driving at least 75 miles per hour on Jacksboro Hwy when he crashed his patrol unit into the vehicle Lopez was driving. The posted speed limit for that stretch of road is 40 miles per hour.
After announcing the verdict, Judge Brotherton said in open court that Whitefield acted "recklessly." Newschannel 6 anchor Chris Horgen spoke with the victims' families who said the sentence is a "slap on the face."
Judge Brotherton was responsible for issuing the verdict and sentence because Whitefield previously waived his right to a jury trial.
Newschannel 6 Anchor Chris Horgen followed Whitefield's trial from the beginning, providing detailed updates on twitter and his courtroom block. Read the blog here.
The City of Wichita Falls settled a civil case with the family for $500,000.