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Ex-boyfriend testifies in crash-murder trial

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Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 2:00 am

On the night of March 19, 2009, the relationship between Justine Winter and her then-boyfriend Ryan Langford had apparently reached its end.

For nearly an hour, Winter and Langford would exchange text messages in a conversation during which Winter allegedly threatened to crash her car and kill herself.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • lovegirl65 posted at 6:43 pm on Tue, Apr 19, 2011.

            lovegirl65 Posts: 1

            I agree Ryan is very controlling and manipulating! He meets girls and makes them think he is a perfect prince charming guy and then you date him and he gets controlling and demanding, you can’t talk to other guys and stuff like that because he "loves" you so much that he wants you all to himself. Yet he cheats on all the girls he dates.... Then in time he breaks up with them and stays with the one he was cheating with, then cheats on them and the cycle keeps going. He tells them all he loves them and they’ll last forever and then drops them on their butts in a flash. Only wanting to talk to them again when his love life isn’t going the way he wants (witch hardly ever happens), and he think he can somehow get something from them. He has hurt a lot of people! He’s a conceded, egotistical, pretty, rich boy that’s only care in the world is himself..

          • kbell98 posted at 10:45 pm on Thu, Feb 3, 2011.

            kbell98 Posts: 1

            i understand that the text messages don't lie, but if you knew Justine you would understand that she is not like this at all. and for everyone who knew her it came as a surprise. i do believe that what she did is wrong and should be accountable for it but i also think that something should be done about Ryan. i know that there is nothing that anyone can do but this boy is very controlling! he is very mentally abusive but comes off as a good guy. i know this because i dated him and he did the same crazy stuff to me he did to Justine but i was actually cutting myself and two other girls that i know. its not fair that Ryan is not telling the entire truth when he is up there on that stand! he don't caret about anyone except for himself.

          • photoguy posted at 11:25 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940


            You can look back through the many posts I have made on this website over the years, you will never once find one that I say people don't have their right to have their own opinion.

          • miapea posted at 9:45 am on Tue, Feb 1, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            @ photoguy..I know how the justice system works here in America. I also know the justice system has holes in it. Also know that victims and familes sometimes never see justice.. And sometimes the justice doesnt even fit the crime.. I could keep going on and on. I know that the jury has the first and last word but it doesnt mean us as a society has to agree with the jurys decisions...thats why thats called an OPINION! Everyone on this blog has a right to their opinion even if someone else doesnt agree. With that said..I agree with photoguy about if you have adult responsibilities, like driving, then you have adult consequences of your driving.

          • photoguy posted at 11:51 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            If you are going to engage in adult activities, then you have to accept adult punishments if you do something wrong, period. This is a two way street, if you want to be an adult, then accept what comes along with being adult.

            I have not said or judged whether she is guilty or innocent, that is up to the 12 people in the court room to decide.

            miapea, I am sure the Jury will make the right decision, whether guilty or innocent, they are the jury...so the decision they make will be the right one, that is how our justice system works here in America!

          • miapea posted at 7:27 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            I have total faith and i hope that the jury will make the right decision...they are the ones that are hearing things we arent...I just know that texts dont lie..they are in black and white and you can see them..If she didnt mean any of the txts then would this accident even have happened?? The texts were mins before the crash!!

          • miapea posted at 7:12 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            The Menendez brothers got life in prison for shooting their parents and they were under 18...Only difference here is Justine used her car to try to kill herself but killed 3 other people instead

          • miapea posted at 7:09 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            The texts messages clearly state what she wanted and she did it.. END OF STORY.. If you people say she is to young to be tried as an adult then maybe 16 years olds shouldnt have adult responsibilities like driving....

          • 888111 posted at 6:09 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            888111 Posts: 541

            2 people dead, she knew what she was doing,try as adult and send her to prison to bad so sad

          • JAECIII posted at 2:07 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            JAECIII Posts: 2

            I only practice law in the state of Michigan and only have the data read in this and two other articles but the defense of this case already astounds me. The girl was obviously mentally ill and without proper, evidence based treatment (A psychotherapist - presumably Freudian - is not a MD, DO or P.hd nor can be state licensed as an authority on mental illness in a court of law (In Michigan, at least). If she were my client I would had demanded an evaluation from accredited experts regarding both her current mental state, what is known about that, and her previous mental states based on both anecdotal and empirical evidence. From there I would work to discredit the presumed ramblings of a psychotherapist and conclude that the client was mentally ill and without proper treatment, therefore was not entirely responsible for the incident since both A) The psychotherapist should have had at least enough evidence to refer her to a more qualified professional and B) the ex-boyfriend was aware of these threats and behaviors long before this incident happened and never notified anybody of importance.

          • notadrugy posted at 12:53 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            notadrugy Posts: 26

            I found it very wrong that she is being tried as an adult, well since she can be tried as an adult, maybe 16 year olds should be able to go buy smokes, just do it as an adult.... Makes as much sense and trying a kid as an adult! Does she get to go buy a lottery ticket and when carded say, well I'm doing this as an adult. A 16 year old can not join the military because they are not considered mature enough to make that decision. A kid can not do anything as an adult until they are an adult, yet do something wrong and they can get the death penalty held over their heads. A KID IS A KID! They are minors for a reason, they are not mentally mature enough to be able to make wise decisions every step of the way. If we are trying people on their mental state, most everyone on here should be tried as a child! Because your mental states are clearly lacking! If it were up to you hypocrites we wouldn't have a justice system, just this newspaper and a lynch mop.

          • mtnews1217 posted at 12:40 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            mtnews1217 Posts: 11

            notadrugy, Finally someone on here is not to enveloped in opinion to see that the jurors and only the jurors will decide weather or not to convict this girl. Personally i believe that this case should have been represented in juvenile court as she was under 18 and even at 18 the human brain is not developed fully. I understand how people feel about this terrible tragedy but a 16 year old should not be held as an adult for a childish mistake. that of which she made when she was a CHILD.

          • notadrugy posted at 12:16 pm on Mon, Jan 31, 2011.

            notadrugy Posts: 26

            mtnews1217, Boy you are on the wrong site to admit something that everyone here has done. The people on here are holier then god, and all knowing since they have tried Justine the day after the accident. (Since clearly people like miapea and deerhunter are god like and know all!) Not only that but knowing that they are gods gift to everyone, they have never done wrong by admitting that they text and drive, to them, you are now the devil. If they could find out who you are, you would be followed and turned in. The problem isn't texting while driving. The problem is people who drive like complete idiots even with out a cell phone! Just driving in a store parking lot is dangerous! And not because of younger drivers! It is the soccer moms with their 5 kids screaming that have come close to running me over, its the older driver that is to focused on looking straight ahead then to the side ever that is dangerous. It is always the young driver that is actually paying attention to the person in the cross walk. And really does it matter if this family was coming back from costco or where? Guess we better say they were coming back from church after donating half their income to the poor. REALLY! WHO CARES! Who cares what any of your opinions are, you are not god, or the jury. Don't act like the Daily interlake has posted even half of what is really going on. But you try people on rumors and trashy newspaper comments. All I have to say is get a life and stop judging, its not Christian like.....Oh thats right, hypocrites unite here!

          • miapea posted at 9:54 am on Sun, Jan 30, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            @ ohmontana... I agree with what you said totally but They are not the WHITES they are the WINTERS...and the witness was coming home from a Costco trip not Erin and Caden..They were coming back, i believe, from a school thing of Cadens... I truly hope and believe there will be justice for Erin and Caden from the jury...If not then i'm sure there is alot of people that will lose faith in our justice system....

          • ohmontana posted at 10:50 pm on Sat, Jan 29, 2011.

            ohmontana Posts: 4

            Really, really?
            I don't even know where to start.... This emotional, probably hormonal wreck of a girl texted that she wanted to kill herself, accelerated, swerved into the opposite lane of a bridge in a construction site at 85 mph. There is a witness to the crash. There are all of the photos of the crumpled cars.
            There is also the greedy lawsuit by the White family... trying to make a buck off of this tragedy.
            Unfortunately, there are these types of people (like the Whites) that are in this world with those who are trying to do their best, do the right thing in life.
            Hopefully, the jury will see through all of the smoke and mirrors the defense is throwing their way. Justine, no matter what her mental state is now, needs to be held accountable for murdering 3 innocent victims coming home from Costco.
            Please let there be true justice.

          • deerhunter posted at 5:51 pm on Fri, Jan 28, 2011.

            deerhunter Posts: 37

            mtnews1217...... you are a wreck waiting to happen... don't be insuch a hurry that you can't wait till you stop before you "text" someone, and for gods sake if you regularly speed, slow down a little... a mother, unborn child and son died in this wreck.. accidents do happen, unfortunatly this wasn't an accident.. think for a moment and take the burden of killing a family in a car accident that was your fault because you were texting and try to realize what those feelings would entail... if you don't get sick to the gut, imagining what it would be like to kill a family, go visit a jail and talk to an inmate that was convicted of vehicular homicide from drinking and driving and learn something... because texting is about as imparing to your driving as drinking.. i hope you will live long enough so that one day you may realize how foolish your comment is..

          • miapea posted at 3:43 pm on Fri, Jan 28, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            @ mtnews1217 Drunk drivers cause accidents all the time and they dont mean to kill anyone and they can get charged for murder. Also dont you read the signs around town, DONT TEXT AND DRIVE??? It doesnt matter if your bored or on a street with a 25mph speed limit. If your texting on a stret that has a speed limit of 25 then thats a residential area which means there could be kids playing outside..just cause the speed limit goes down doesnt mean you can sacrifice not watching the streets for our children. As for justine...she intentionally was speeding in a construction zone. Evidence even points to her speeding up right before she hit Erins car. Accident or not, justine needs to be held accountable for her actions.. And i hope you stay off my street speeding and texting dont mix!!!

          • mtnews1217 posted at 2:02 pm on Fri, Jan 28, 2011.

            mtnews1217 Posts: 11

            so almost everyone on here seems to think that they KNOW justine intentionally accelerated that vehicle and steered it across the center line on a mission to end her life. I'm 18 and i speed. Every day of my life i speed and as far as texting while i drive yes i do. Not while I'm going fast but if I'm in a boring 25 zone with red lights yes i text. Maybe justine was just speeding like i do and texting while she was speeding. plus we all know that while your in emotional pain it is easy to get distracted. Realize that what this girl did COULD have easily been an accident and as much as it is EXTREMELY sad and a down right tragedy do you really think this person deserves a prison cell for the rest of her life because of a possible accident? You people should think before you write stupid things like "put the needle in her" if you ever cause an accident and kill someone i hope they put the needle in you.

          • counterpoint1 posted at 1:18 am on Fri, Jan 28, 2011.

            counterpoint1 Posts: 8

            Before I go away from this horribly depressing case let me give my best to the victims. I haven't done this yet It is a horrible thing. I am sorry it happened to you, very sorry. Please understand that I was defending Randy Winter, to whom much mud has been slung. Deserved or undeserved.

            I close here having mob rule, evil being done to an individual that may not be deserving. It haunts Christians, as you might imagine.
            The girl is in therapy, Does not the therapist have some responsibility in letting this girl loose? Does this not show some responsibility by the parents to get her to her appointments? The boyfriend has an understanding enough that these incidences are meaningless? Until the last time!

            These questions are valid, don't you think?

          • msm posted at 11:00 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            msm Posts: 46

            Give her the needle!

          • MrMark posted at 10:01 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            MrMark Posts: 359

            outdoor lover, thanks for your review. I wonder if you could clarify your sentence that stated, "Their investigation was flawed, with three attmepts being shown by one witness and he still did not get it right."

            I read the story on the KECI website and it sounds like the defense is making the local law enforcement look like a bunch of country bumpkins! It would be too bad if that's the case. It would have to make us question a lot of things. For me, her speed and the witness behind Erin's car should be enough. All the rest is just just defense tactics trying to cloud the and bring reasonable doubt into the case. The reasonable doubt defense is the worst thing that ever happened to our judicial system. This girl is as guilty as the day is long.

          • outdoor lover posted at 8:25 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            outdoor lover Posts: 121

            sotellme, yes I have been attending the trial, and I do not believe the prosecution has proved their case. Just to be clear, she started seeing a therapist after the incident, not before. From what I have witnessed in the courtroom the prosecution has not proven its case. The defense has knocked holes in everyone of the prosecutions witnesses except for the experts from the Montana Crime Lab, and the defense did not even ask them one question! That testimony was about worthless to the jury anyways, except to show there was no alchol or drugs involved, and that has never been brought into question. Today the defense made the prosecutions witnesses appear to be less than competent. Their investigation was flawed, with three attmepts being shown by one witness and he still did not get it right. To top it off, all the other expert witnesess for the prosecution used this one guys data, and he ADMITS it is incorrect. Now, there is still a question regarding speed, and it will be interesting to see where that goes during this trial. Thankfully, I do not have an opinion as to her guilt or innocence as its not my job and I am not on the jury. Hope that helped.

          • Squirrel posted at 7:46 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            Squirrel Posts: 42

            I understand the strong emotions surrounding this case, the deaths of the expecting mother and her son was a tragedy -- but I have to ask, from a legal perspective, why is she being prosecuted for homicide? It seems risky -- if she was suicidal, she would have been completely self-absorbed, intent on killing herself, not others. No murderous intent = No homicide conviction. What's the prosecutor thinking? As a jurist, I would be looking for proof of the murderous intent explicit in "homicide." Couldn't they be sacrificing a conviction?

          • SoManyTragedies posted at 2:18 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            SoManyTragedies Posts: 2

            I agree with what everyone is saying and this is such a sick tragedy! I also agree that to rely on new articles for all of the facts is also not a smart and well rounded choice. Every person has personal biases that feed into what and how they report. News many times twists how the truth is reported so that it appears one way or another based on how the person reporting the incident personally feels or what they feel will sell to the public. If I had the time I would definitely love to sit in on this trial and also that of Tyler Miller just to see what exactly the jury hears and sees. I always find it amazing what details and facts are not allowed to be heard in court which many times lead to the wrong verdict by the jury. I think that there shouldn’t be so many technical ways to get evidence thrown out. If it is evidence then it is evidence and should be shown to the jury. I know, a balance between human rights and convicting the guilty while setting free the innocent is are slippery slope. Don’t get me wrong, I have heard the scope on all of the police reports and such and she is guilty and needs to pay just like any other murder should pay!

          • photoguy posted at 1:26 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            photoguy Posts: 940

            All I can say.....Is WOW!

          • sotellme posted at 1:02 pm on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            sotellme Posts: 11

            With no disrespect intended to your opinions, I was just wondering if anyone is attending this trial on a daily basis so you all, like the jury, can make a decision not based on emotions or the Daily Interlake's report?

          • NBreslin321 posted at 11:57 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            NBreslin321 Posts: 4

            I couldn't agree more with ThatTroublemaker ...
            There's no if's and's or but's about this sad case.
            I just cannot believe Justine's family is picking at anything they can. Where's the remorse for what your daughter/neice/granddaughter did? Suing for Erin's estate? Are you crazy?
            It sounds like she cried for help one too many times... How could nobody see this coming? Why wouldn't you ever take a suicide threat seriously? It's not anything to joke about...
            Erin's husband went home that day to his beautiful and energetic son's empty room, a nursery he will never dress his newborn baby in, and an empty bed where he can never hold his wife in again. What an awful AWFUL suprise.
            I hope the jury spits in her and her attorney's faces and puts her in for that 200 years. And to top it off - solitary confinement every March 19th so she can remember every thought, every text, every scream, and every police siren she wanted to happen that day.

          • mom posted at 10:52 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            mom Posts: 629

            wow, disease, that was interesting.

            I wish everyone would just hold their breaths a little here, we finally are learning something new every day. Let the pieces of this puzzle come together.

            deerhunter, I too wish there was a clear, proper way to get kids some help. It just seems like when you try, you are either meddling or are deemed an alarmist. The people at DPHS are unbridled witch-hunters, nobody wants their tactics coming around, I couldn't depend on them to do what's right.

            I know a 15 yo I'm worried about, his parents and step-parents are all either ex-cons and/or druggies and whores, he's always beat up and telling crazy stories. I wish I knew who to trust that could check it out.

          • ThatTroublemaker posted at 10:42 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            ThatTroublemaker Posts: 15

            80+ mph and accelerating? This should be an open-and-shut murder case. That this girl is not simply confessing and begging forgiveness shows her to be the cold-blooded murderer that her actions already assume.

            I am, however, glad she didn't die. Perhaps one day she will develop a conscience and feel some guilt before she dies. Or, perhaps, forgiveness and love will soften her heart and she'll be able to openly and honestly share her story and make the world a better place.

            But for now, I hope that she gets life without the possibility of parole. Because the fact she's a girl, the fact she's a teenager, the fact she texted her suicide note, and the fact she used a car instead of a gun - those don't change anything. She's an unrepentant cold-blooded killer who murdered three people.

          • deerhunter posted at 9:31 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            deerhunter Posts: 37

            my question about this whole thing is; Why are they trying to assertain whether this was intentional or not? Obviously this girl did have emotional issues that can't be overlooked.. SHE WAS SEEING A THERAPIST !!!! how many 16 year kids see therapists? i certainly hope this therapist that is testifying isn't trying to cover up her own mis-interpretation of why this young girl was in therapy... she obviously needed help, now it is too late to give her the help that may have prevented this... tragic tragic tragic... It's not the fall that kills someone, it's that sudden stop at the bottom.. this girl was obviously falling for some time before she hit the bottom.. it just saddens me that in retrospect someone could have interviened. who, I don't know,,, but someone.. this girl will be paying for this criminal act for the rest of her life..

            i implore anyone and everyone who recognizes someone in need to take action..
            we have seen way to much death in this valley lately and it burndens me deeply that an intervention may have prevented innocent life to be lost...

            What's done is done and the jury will speak.. let's try to prevent future deaths by keeping an open eye and having the strength to know that we can make a difference..

          • MfgMan posted at 9:15 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            MfgMan Posts: 345

            DiseasedWriter, I don't know any of the individuals involved, so I can't comment on what type of guy her ex is. But you sure seem to be taking a lot of liberties with your implications that he drove her to this, that he should also be punished, etc. Don't worry though...I think you can spread cynism much faster then the can..."spread their seed".

          • DevilDog posted at 7:50 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            DevilDog Posts: 18


            I couldn't have said it any better myself, it will be disgusting to hear the attorneys of Justine try to discredit all these professionals.

          • miapea posted at 7:42 am on Thu, Jan 27, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 135

            This article says it all...justine didnt brake at the time of impact..actually she speed up..She wasnt wearing a seat belt.. Only thing that makes me mad is justine wasnt wearing a seat belt and she lived and Erin and Caden wear wearing theirs and they passed..Justine wanted to die and instead 3 other innnocent people did...Does this so called family even have remorse for what they did to the Thompson family??? Oh wait, they are suing the Thompson family so i would say they have no remorse..who does that anyways..the nerve of them!!!


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