By Jamie Nash & Scott Engle
Doug and Margaret Smith of Montgomery lived every parent’s worst nightmare on October 26, 2008 when an officer knocked on their front door and they learned their 18-year-old daughter would never cross that threshold again. Meghann Smith was killed by an intoxicated driver as she stood on the side of SH 105 West at Sapp Road, where she and her boyfriend were forced to make an emergency stop to change a flat tire.
August of 2009 marked a bittersweet victory for the Smith family when 47-year-old Catherine Lynn Roberts, an Oak Ridge High School secretary, of Panorama Village, was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter and failure to stop and render aid in the 435th District Court of Judge Michael T. Seiler. She was sentenced to 10-years in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice on a count of intoxication manslaughter and 10-years for failure to stop and render aid.
According to Meghann’s boyfriend, Lance Barton, and investigators, Roberts stopped long enough to learn she struck the teen, and then she fled. Barton, who was 19 at the time, was left alone with Meghann on the side of the road. Barton made a gut wrenching 911 call, trying to get help for his girlfriend, but it was too late.
The teen had the presence of mind to describe Roberts and her vehicle to the call taker. A description was broadcast and a patrol officer spotted and stopped Roberts, who failed a field sobriety test and was found to have a blood alcohol content over the legal limit.
This week the Texas Parole Board denied parole on Roberts. They gave three reasons for the denial.
2D NATURE OF OFFENSE – THE RECORD INDICATES THE INSTANT OFFENSE HAS ELEMENTS OF BRUTALITY, VIOLENCE, ASSAULTIVE BEHAVIOR, OR CONSCIOUS SELECTION OF VICTIM’S VULNERABILITY INDICATING A CONSCIOUS DISREGARD FOR THE LIVES, SAFETY, OR PROPERTY OF OTHERS, SUCH THAT THE OFFENDER POSES A CONTINUING THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY.
9D1 DISCRETIONARY MANDATORY SUPERVISION – THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE OFFENDER’S ACCRUED GOOD CONDUCT TIME IS NOT AN ACCURATE REFLECTION OF THE OFFENDER’S POTENTIAL FOR REHABILITATION.
9D2 DISCRETIONARY MANDATORY SUPERVISION – THE RECORD INDICATES THAT THE OFFENDER’S RELEASE WOULD ENDANGER THE PUBLIC.
She is not up for review again until May of 2017.