Judge Hands Drunk Driver Odd Sentencing No One Could Have Seen Coming. Do You Think It’s Fair?

Updated March 1, 2017

One Texas man killed an “extraordinary” woman when he decided to go out on a drunk driving craze. Now, 23-year-old Travis Elwell of Mesquite, Texas will forever be forced to remember the woman whose life he stole.

Although many are claiming that the judge went much too easy on the killer, Elwell will serve 120 days in jail for the 2015 death of 34-year-old Emily Javadi. Elwell might only spend a little under four months in jail, but the judge also decided that for the next nine years, he must return to prison and spend the day of her death with the other inmates.

Elwell killed the respected Javadi while she was loading her car after a workout. The young man was driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.175 when he smashed his BMW into the extraordinary woman’s Lexus, driving her into a metal pole. She died an hour later…

As part of the plea deal, which the rich young man’s parents got him, he will need to spend a week in jail on the anniversary of Javadi’s death on February 10, 2015 for the next nine years.

While thousands are outraged that this man will not rot in jail for years because he killed an innocent woman, others think it is poetic justice. He will be forced to remember what he did to the young woman.

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“That was the only thing that was important to us,” Javadi’s father, Michael, told the station Thursday. “That there needs to be some sort of accountability for the irresponsible actions that he took.”

Although their child was taken from them, the Javadis never wished to see Elwell locked up for life. Instead, they supported a probationary sentence.

“We’re not going back to look at the negative, she was not a negative person,” Javadi’s mother, Karen, told the station. “And we made it. We’re going to make this.”

Attorney Nicole Knox, who was not associated with this particular case, has a lot of experience in cases involving intoxicated vehicular manslaughter and claims that this punishment is unique.

“To have that annual reminder and the purpose of the annual reminder, while you’re sitting in solitude incarcerated, I think it’s a really creative way to create more of a deterrent effect,” Knox told WFAA.

During his probation, Elwell will not be allowed to drink alcohol. He must attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, and speak at drunken driver support groups.

Karen Kavadi says the terms make sure his punishment is not too lenient. But if he had rotted in jail, it would have negatively affected the killer’s child.

“Our justice system allows people to walk with probation only,” she told the Dallas Morning News. “We can’t change the justice system overnight … I hope he turns around his life and becomes a better person.”

Javadi was an important member of the community. More than 1,000 attended her memorial service at the Granada Theater. Her memory lives on through the Emily Javadi Foundation. It offers scholarships to young people looking to fulfill their fitness or entrepreneurial potential.

“Though tragically taken from the world in February of 2015 by a drunk driver, Emily’s story — her spirit, her love, and her light — is not defined by the way her physical life ended so suddenly,” the website reads. “Instead, her story is defined by the people whose lives have been forever touched by having known her.”

What do you think of this unusual punishment?

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