The mother of two brothers convicted of a fatal Rogers County hit-and-run was sentenced in court Tuesday for her charges.
Dorothea Butanda was charged with accessory after the fact (murder 2nd degree), accessory to leaving the scene of a fatality accident, accessory to leaving the scene of an injury accident, and obstructing an officer.
She pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
She was arrested for helping her sons, Gage and Dakota Shriver, hide evidence and mislead investigators.
The judge called her out in court for continuing to lie, knowing that a girl was dead.
Butanda was charged after her sons were arrested for a fatal hit-and-run that killed Noelle New and injured Maranda Talley.
Dakota was sentenced to 25 years for second-degree murder and Gage was given a 30-plus year sentence for first-degree murder.
Prosecutors say Gage had been drinking and was driving in 2015 when he and his brother got into a fight in the car. The vehicle went off the road and hit Talley and New. New died at the scene.
New's mother, Brandy Whitmire says she finally got to speak her truth.
"To actually just make eye contact with her and say 'this is how you've affected me,'" she said.
Whitmire gave her victim impact statement Tuesday, saying she held Butanda even more responsible than her sons.
She told Butanda in court, "you have failed in your duties as a mother."
Whitmire said she feels relieved that this is over, but she hopes her daughter’s legacy will live on.
"I wish that that family had a little more of Noelle's kindness, and generosity, and love. I wish they could have known her," she said.
During her impact statement, Whitmire told Butanda that her son, New's brother, is now suicidal because of the loss of his big sister.
Prosecutors say if Butanda had been honest from the get-go, this could have been a completely different story.
"She could've saved us a lot of heartache," said Whitmire.
Assistant District Attorney Anthony Evans says he hopes the family finally has some of the closure they've been looking for.
"I thought it was fair," he said. "I think Ms. Butanda deserved to go to prison for her actions. Clearly, I've thought that from the beginning of this case."
Talley spoke briefly after the sentencing, saying she believes Butanda deserved as much time in prison as her sons.