A Florida man wept in court as he received his 5 year sentence after killing his wife in a car crash in 2014, when he accidentally drove the car off of a dirt road while under the influence of alcohol and drugs…while the two were having sex in the front seat.
Matthew Notebeart, 33, is a father of two. Three years since the accident the case was finally heard in court. Notebeart’s wife struck her head on the windshield when the car was sporadically driven off the road. It was their first night out since the birth of their second child, and the two had gotten concert tickets to celebrate.
The Daily Mail says:
A Florida man whose wife was killed in a horrific crash that occurred while he was driving drunk was sentenced to five years in prison on Wednesday.
Matthew Notebeart stood by his attorney weeping after Judge Laura Johnson handed down the sentence in a Palm Beach County courtroom, telling the 33-year-old father of two that his wife’s death was a ‘senseless, tragic act.’
The ruling came a little over three years after Matthew crashed his car into a canal bank after driving the vehicle off a dirt road on March 9, 2014, causing his wife Amanda to strike her head on the windshield and dashboard.
She was pronounced dead at the scene, and it was later revealed that neither Matthew or his wife were wearing seat belts at the time because they were having sexual intercourse in the driver’s seat of the car, with Amanda sitting on her husband’s lap.
It had been Amanda’s first night out with her husband after the birth of their second child it was later revealed by Matthew, who has bought his wife tickets to a concert earlier that evening for Valentine’s Day.
The death of Amanda drove a wedge between the once happy family, with her parents and grandparents blaming Matthew for the fatal crash while friends of the couple said the victim would never want to see the father of her children behind bars.
‘You had a responsibility to get your wife home safely,’ said Amanda’s father Mike Stacey according to the Palm Beach Post, while asking that the judge sentence his former son-in-law to the maximum amount of time in prison.
Amanda’s parents were also upset with Matthew for keeping their grandchildren away from them in the wake of Amanda’s death they revealed in court on Thursday.
Just before her death, Amanda had named her daughter Stacey in honor of her father.
An aunt of Amanda’s was among those who spoke on behalf of Matthew ahead of his sentencing, saying that she believed it is what his late wife would have wanted to her to do in this awful situation.
Matthew entered a guilty plea back in February to a count of vehicular homicide as well as driving under the influence while causing injury to a person or property as part of plea deal, with prosecutors agreeing to drop the DUI manslaughter charge he was facing in the case.
He was facing a minimum sentence of 10 years, but given the circumstances of the case Matthew’s lawyer Steven Bell had been hopeful that his client might receive no jail time and just probation so that he could raise his 12-year-old son Gage and 3-year-old Stacey.
In the end, Matthew received five years for vehicular homicide and one year for the driving under the influence charge, which will run concurrent to his five-year sentence.