Sentenced Reduced For Woman Who Aided Sons In Fatal Verdigris Hit-And-Run
ROGERS COUNTY, Oklahoma - A Green Country mother convicted of helping her two sons cover up a hit and run accident will serve less time in prison. A judge reduced Dorothea Butanda's sentence on one of the charges from 9 years to 3 years behind bars. As you can imagine, the reactions of Butanda's attorney and Noelle New's family were very different.
The court document showing the modified sentence from 9 years behind bars down to 3 for accessory after the fact of a deadly hit and run is included in the attached video.
It's a decision that Butanda's attorney is calling a charitable move by the judge and one that Noelle New's mother says has taken away any fragment of peace she might have found.
“You have a mother who panicked. Is she guilty of obstruction? Absolutely,” said Butanda's attorney Gina Cowley.
"There are the tragic events that can hit every family in the state of Oklahoma, out of the blue, at 3:45 on a Tuesday afternoon and that is what this case is," said Cowley.
“With the original sentence I felt like we had gotten justice for Noelle, and with this reduced sentence I feel that has been taken away,” said Noelle’s mom Brandy Whitmire.
“This feels like a slap on the wrist.”
Butanda's sons Gage and Dakota Shriver were convicted in 2017 for a hit and run crash that killed Noelle New and injured Maranda Talley. Butanda pleaded guilty to helping her sons lie to investigators and hide evidence after the crash.
“I feel that the courts original sentence of 9 years was fair but today is a very good day. We are very pleased with the modification," said Cowley.
Noelle's mom says Butanda has tried to avoid being held accountable for her actions throughout the entire process and has shown very little compassion towards the victim's families. She says she was hoping the rehabilitation programs Butanda would get behind bars would change that.
“That is not going to happen now,” said Whitmire, "She's not sorry for me. She's not sorry for Noelle's brother and sister. She's sorry for her role and she's sorry that her boys are in jail."
With all of her charges included, Butanda will serve a total of five years.
Whitmire asked the community to please stay respectful of all of the families involved in the situation, regardless of how passionate they might feel about the case.