WF woman sentenced to 15 years after son killed in drunk driving crash

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 7:13 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - A Wichita Falls woman was sentenced to 15 years in prison in the 78th District Court for manslaughter on Tuesday.

According to the Wichita County Attorney’s Office, Tyneshia Chatman was convicted for putting her son in a car with a drunk driver, Migel Matthews. The car crashed on Southwest Parkway, killing Chatman’s 4-year-old son.

“For Chatman, the WFPD charged her with state jail felony endangering a child, which carried a maximum of 2 years in state jail,” Dobie Kosub, Criminal Chief of the DA’s Office, said. “We upgraded the charge to felony murder because we did not believe a 2-year maximum was enough for Chatman’s role in the death of her son.”

Chatman pleased guilty to manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony.

“By elevating the charge to felony murder, we were able to use that as leverage to obtain this conviction for Manslaughter and the 15 year prison sentence,” Kosub said.

“There is no sentence that could bring that little boy back. Her disregard for his safety was shocking,” Kosub said. “However, it is difficult to predict what a jury would do in this case. Historical evidence shows this sentence is greater than what a lot of juries have given on similar offenses. For example, a jury sentenced Elizabeth Duerson, who killed her brother in a drunk driving accident, to 3 years in prison.”

“As part of the agreement, Chatman has waived her right to appeal,” Kosub said. “There are no winners in cases like this, and no perfect resolutions. However, Chatman is paying a real penalty for her actions that contributed to the death of her son.”

“We appreciate the hard work of the Wichita Falls Police Department in investigating this case,” Kosub said.

Charges are still pending against Matthews, the driver.

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