By Jack Molitor
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — A woman who lost control of a U-Haul truck she was driving causing the death of a motorcyclist was sent to prison Monday in Madison Circuit Court 6.
Laquinda C. Maxwell, 20, of Anderson, received a four-year sentence with two years executed in prison on charges of reckless homicide and causing a death while operating under the influence. The July 16, 2012, accident claimed the life of 60-year-old Bill Richards of Anderson.
According to the probable cause affidavit of the incident, late that evening Maxwell was driving the U-Haul truck with an attached trailer southbound on Broadway from the direction of Plum Street. According to Maxwell, passenger Theressa Jones and two minors also in the vehicle, Maxwell and Jones got into an argument leading Jones to open the door of the moving vehicle.
Maxwell, distracted, then ran a red light and slid into the intersection of Broadway and Grand Avenue near Frisch's Big Boy restaurant, colliding with Richards' stationary motorcycle and killing Richards. The truck also ran into a utility pole, which snapped in half and brought down a live wire which required repair.
Police determined during the investigation that Maxwell had recently used marijuana and anti-anxiety medicine Klonopin. She pleaded guilty to the charges in June. Jones, who also faces a charge of reckless homicide, is scheduled to go to trial Aug. 27 in Court 6.
Richards' son William Richards testified on behalf of several family members who attended the hearing. He said his father was innocently enjoying a ride when he was killed, and accused Maxwell of being completely unapologetic. He accused Maxwell and Jones of harassing the victim's family after the accident on social media, and "wishing death" on the rest of the family.
"I find I can't forgive you. The pain you've caused my family is indescribable," Richards said.
Judge Dennis Carroll called the bullying on social media "immature and cruel," but determined Maxwell's nonexistent criminal history was a major mitigator, and decided on the middling sentence level. He said because someone lost their life, it wouldn't seem right or fair to the victim's family for Maxwell to not serve some prison time.
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