At her Dawson County Court sentencing on Monday, Krystal Saunders of Lexington was ordered by Judge Kent Turnbull of North Platte to be on probation for two-years in exchange for her no-contest plea to motor vehicle homicide, spend 5 days in jail each year on significant dates and do 200 hours of community service for an agency that serves the needs of the Hispanic community.
As part of the plea deal, charges of careless driving and possession of marijuana were dropped. The charges stem from an SUV-pedestrian death that occurred Aug. 31, 2015 northeast of Lexington. The accident caused a serious brain injury to then-2 month old Ailyn Arredondo and killed her aunt, Alejandra Zamora, who was pushing a stroller carrying the infant.
Judge Turnbull also advised that Saunders participate in mediation with the Zamora and Arredondo families, if they want it. Judge Turnbull also ordered Saunders to make restitution of $9,340, for Alejandra Zamora’s funeral expenses.
During the time of probabation, Krystal Saunders must spend the following days in jail: Aug. 31 to remind her of the day of Alejandra Zamora’s death; July 2 to remind her of the birthday of Ailyn Arredondo who was left with lifelong issues due to the brain injury; Feb. 14 to remind Krystal Saunders of her birthday and that she still has her life; Dec. 24 & 25 to call attention to the fact that Alejandra Zamora and her family will be deprived of having Christmas together.
Judge Turnbull allowed impact statements to be given by victims of the tragedy. Those who read statements included the grieving mother of Alejandra Zamora, Leticia Hernandez; Cindy Arredondo, the mother of Ailyn Arredondo, who said she witnessed the accident that killed her sister and left her baby daughter with a brain injury that will likely mean the little girl, now 1 year old, will never have a normal life; Mario Zamora, husband of the deceased, who said the death of his wife changed his life and the life of his children forever.
Krystal Saunders gave a tearful statement to the court in which she said she is very sorry, that it was an accident and she has feelings and cares very deeply about the victims and their families. Krystal Saunders also said life will never be the same and she will carry the tragedy with her for the rest of her life, but acknowledged that the loss to the families affected will be far worse.