Monday, May 10 2010 5:38 PM EDT2010-05-10 22:38:28 GMT
Paul Maidman was killed in his car as he sat at a stoplight, struck from behind by an alleged drunk driver. Now Paul's family is turning to the internet and Facebook to try and get tougher sentences for DUI suspects, and to keep an eye on the woman police say is responsible for Maidman's death.More>>
LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas woman who admitted to drunk driving and killing a man in April was given the maximum sentence Monday.
Twenty-nine-year-old Miranda Dalton was sentenced from eight to 20 years in prison for a DUI crash that killed 28-year-old Paul Maidman. She will be eligible for parole after serving at least eight years.
There were a lot of tears from both sides in the courtroom. For the last few months Maidman's family has been working to make sure Dalton received the maximum penalty. They say the sentencing will now allow them to move forward.
A picture of a smiling Maidman was a symbol of encouragement in the courtroom for family members who gave their victim impact statements before a judge. It was also a reminded to the person who killed their loved one. With handcuffs on, Miranda Dalton sat in tears, realizing the damage she caused.
"There are no words. Saying I'm sorry will never due," said Mark Maidman, Paul's father. "Somebody like this, with such disregard for the law, with a proven history of that, doesn't deserve any mercy from the court."
Close to 50 people all wearing Team Paul shirts sat in the courtroom waiting for the sentencing. Through social media sites, the family has been pushing Dalton to receive the maximum penalty of eight to 20 years. Back in April, Paul Maidman was waiting at a stoplight in his car when Dalton plowed into him. Her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
"It is never going to be the same without him. We all miss him so much," said Jessica Maidman, Paul's sister.
Dalton was also allowed to speak and she tearfully apologized.
"The hopes and the dreams that have been taken from you is my deepest consequence and I'm so sorry for that," Dalton said.
In the end, Dalton received the maximum sentence. But friends of Dalton's say this is far from over. They say Team Paul continues to harass them with phone calls, e-mails and Facebook comments. But they say for now, their thoughts are with their friend who's facing the consequences of a bad decision.
"Sorry will never due and neither will Nevada prison. She is going to live with this for the rest of her life with what she is supposed to do and she took full responsibility," said Melissa Alderman, Dalton's friend.
The judge said, in the end, it was Dalton's prior DUI conviction from 2001 that caused her to get this maximum sentence. The judge didn't feel Dalton learned her lesson the first time around.