On bodycam, an arresting officer tells the driver she's acting "completely careless about killing two people tonight" -- adding, "That's sad and pathetic, and horrible all at the same time."
A woman whose disturbing behavior following a fatal DUI crash was caught on bodycam has been sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Stephanie Melgoza, 24, struck and killed two pedestrians -- Andrea Rosewicz, 43, and Paul Prowant, 55 -- following a night out at the Full Throttle bar in East Peoria, Illinois in April 2022.
As part of a "blind" plea deal, Melgoza plead guilty to two counts of aggravated reckless driving and two counts of aggravated DUI death -- both felonies -- while four lesser charges were dropped.
During her sentencing hearing last week, Melgoza reportedly addressed the victims' families, saying she was "so sorry for everything" and promising to "never, ever commit anything like that again." She added, "I have not drank since that day. I do not plan on drinking ever again. I want to try to do something positive to make a difference, speak out about this and warn others about the dangers that come with drinking."
During the sentencing hearing, one of the victims' sisters asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence possible, 28 years -- and said Melgoza "destroyed multiple families with your selfishness" and has "zero consideration" for others.
The deadly crash happened on April 10, 2022 and the aftermath of the accident was caught on police body camera footage.
The video, released by the Tazewell County Sheriff Department, began with Melgoza telling police she was the one who called 9-1-1, before referencing her college by exclaiming, "I go to Bradley, why would this happen to me?"
After admitting to having marijuana in her car, she told authorities she was driving when "suddenly, one person walked out in front of me" and her "car got hit." It was then she called the police. "I promise you, I only know one person got hit. They came out of nowhere. I am a safe driver," she said, after being told there was a second victim.
She told police she was going about 40mph and told them she had "about three drinks" of vodka at the bar before getting in her car. "Right now, If you had me do a test, I think I would pass. Don't test me, but I think I would pass," she told them, as the officer on the scene told her they would very likely be giving her a breathalyzer due to the circumstances.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most drunk she's ever been in her life, Melgoza said she was a 5. "I've been very drunk," she said, "right now, I see you, I see everyone, I know I'm aware of everything."
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She was seen laughing during the field sobriety eye test -- exclaiming how "hard" it was to keep still -- before struggling to comprehend how to do the walking and balance tests. "I can't do it, sir, I really can't," she told police, before then reportedly blowing three times the legal limit on the breathalyzer.
At that point, she was placed in handcuffs and placed in the back of a police cruiser -- again denying she hit two people. As she arrived at the hospital, she said, "If it was two, I'd be crying. I'd be like, 'Oh my god, I did this. I know what I did.'"
In the exam room while waiting to be checked and treated for injuries, she then began talking about how excited she was to go to Las Vegas for her birthday ... and starting her trip by drinking two Long Island iced teas. The officer in the room with her asks, "You ain't had enough of drinking already?"
She then tells the officer he's being too quiet, so she starts singing out loud and dancing in the hospital bed, before asking whether she can get her car back to go to school the next day.
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"Your car is totaled. Wrecked. You don't," he said, something she just simply couldn't understand. "I don't go to school tomorrow, is what you're telling me?" she then asked.
"No ma'am. You want me to be honest with you? You're going to jail. You don't have a bond. You killed two people tonight. Your car is property of the police department, because it's a crime scene," he told her. "You killed two people tonight. You are clueless with that, clearly, I've already explained this to you."
"So, no, you're not going to school tomorrow," he added.
None of that seemed to get through to her either, as she then asked him, "Can I go Tuesday for my night class?"
Frustrated with the situation, he exclaimed, "Did you just hear what I just told you? Did you hear what I said?"
"You're on body camera being completely careless about killing two people tonight," he added. "You could care less, that's sad and pathetic, and horrible all at the same time."
She expressed some shock over his comments, asking if he was allowed to say that to her "as a cop." His response: "Yes, ma'am, I can." As she began to express concern about her classes and professors, he said he was more concerned about the two people who were killed that evening. The video ends with her once again singing to herself.
Melgoza still graduated from Bradley, but reportedly was not allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony due to student backlash.