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700Fw: Dallas Morning News on the Woman who Hit and Killed Dick Sartain

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  • Ed & Maria Hromatka
    May 9 7:16 AM
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          (Of course, Dick was an RPCV/Colombia and a long time NTPCA Treasurer)

      Woman pleads in DWI death

      Dallas: Witness says she was released from jail same day she hit man

      12:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, May 9, 2007

      By JENNIFER EMILY

      A 61-year-old woman struck and killed a man walking at White Rock Lake the same day she was released from jail after serving a DWI sentence, according to testimony.

      Astrid Linnea Karlsson pleaded guilty Tuesday to intoxication manslaughter in the May 19, 2006, incident but has asked a jury to decide her punishment.

      Richard Sartain, 64, walked more than a dozen miles around the lake every day and was nearly as frequently seen dancing in a nearby parking lot. He was a retired financial adviser and day trader.

      When Ms. Karlsson struck Mr. Sartain, her blood alcohol level was .22 – nearly three times the legal limit of .08 to be able to drive, according to testimony.

      Mr. Sartain's son, Michael Sartain, 29, a member of the Air Force, said his father taught him forgiveness, but he wants jurors to give her the maximum sentence – 20 years in prison.

      "I forgave her before I knew who she was," he testified while being questioned by prosecutor Mindy Sauter. "I hope to God she can find some kind of grip on alcoholism – but she can do that from prison. I can't imagine how you kill someone and the maximum time is only 20 years."

      Ms. Karlsson's only other previous conviction is the misdemeanor DWI. A judge sentenced her to 60 days in the Dallas County Jail. She was released after 20 days because the jail gives inmates three days of credit for each day served.

      She is eligible for probation because she had no previous felony convictions.

      Dallas County felony prosecutor Madeleine Harrison was a misdemeanor prosecutor on Ms. Karlsson's DWI arrest case. She testified Tuesday that she originally planned to agree to probation in that case. But she changed her mind because Ms. Karlsson showed up drunk in court on the day she was supposed to plead guilty, she said.

      Defense attorneys Reginald Self and Mary Jo Earle of the county's public defender's office asked Ms. Harrison whether she made the wrong choice. They wondered if probation would have been a better solution because then she would have been monitored.

      Ms. Harrison said she believes she made the right decision because probation is successful only if the defendant wants it to be. "She showed up drunk to start probation on day one," she said.

      Testimony resumes today.