Man Found Guilty In Deadly DUI Case

Wednesday, December 3rd 2008, 5:10 pm
By: News On 6

By Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A jury found Melvin Stanley guilty of drinking and driving and killing Sandi Stephens, but not her unborn child.

It was pretty rare for the suspect to be charged with manslaughter in the death of a fetus in the first place, but it's still tough for the family, who's not only missing a daughter, but a grandchild.

She was daddy's little girl and Sandi was getting ready to have a family of her own, but that all was taken away Memorial Day weekend 2007.

"You wonder why, my daughter is gone," said Sandi's father, DeWayne Stephens.

Sandi was on her way back from a family barbecue, when she ran off the road, crashing into a ditch.

Police say she was all right, until she went back to the road for help. That's when they say a drunk driver, Melvin Stanley, crossed several lanes of traffic and hit her, killing her instantly.

Stanley was charged with two counts of manslaughter, one for Sandi and one for her unborn child.

A jury handed down a split verdict which brings up mixed emotions.       

"To hear guilty verdict come down for our daughter and hear not guilty for the baby. It's just a roller coaster of emotions," said DeWayne Stephens.

DeWayne says he is thankful, but he's still heartbroken.

"It doesn't take away the void that's left in our life, in our family's lives, for the rest of our lives. It's gone forever," said DeWayne Stephens.

DeWayne Stephens says he's glad Melvin Stanley is off the streets, but nothing will replace the daughter he lost, the grandchild he'll never know.      

"You'd like to say it's a big relief. It's not a big relief. It's just another chapter that you finish. And now we go on to the next chapter, whatever that may hold," said DeWayne Stephens.

A jury will decide Melvin Stanley's fate Thursday morning. He could face 20 years to life.