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Winter gets 15-year sentence

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Posted: Monday, June 6, 2011 1:51 pm

Family and friends of a pregnant Columbia Falls woman and her teenage son killed in a 2009 car crash fervently requested that the young woman convicted of murdering them apologize during a sentencing hearing Monday in Flathead District Court.

When given a chance, 18-year-old Evergreen resident Justine Winter seemed to stop short of accepting full responsibility.

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          Welcome to the discussion.


          • Subrinabrt38 posted at 5:15 am on Fri, Apr 25, 2014.

            Subrinabrt38 Posts: 1

            I think that Justine Winters needs to spend the whole 15 years in prison. I feel that she should have gotten more time because the only thing that should be looked at here is was she speeding?? And was she texting while driving? If anyone else had done either one of those things the only things that would matter is if they were speeding and texting while driving. Which both everyone has been made aware of put the other peoples lives on the road in danger. So if it can be proven that she was speeding ( which in legal treks means reckless driving). And if it can be proven that she had been texting while behind the wheel then there again ( endangering the lives of others). The fact that she had even said anything about suicide should really not even matter. The fact of the matter is she is guilty of the charges in which she was found guilty of. And it seems to me the only reason she was crying when she was found guilty was because she was sad for herself not because she was truly sorry for what she had done. I hope she has to do every day in prison she was sentenced to. And her mother said that she was sorry for the victims family she was only sorry for her and her family otherwise she would not have filed i hope that the new jury d a suite against the victims family for her daughters pain and suffering. The pain and suffering that she had caused. It really makes me sick when people like these are shown on TV talking about them, them,them, not how sorry they are that their daughter has such pain and sorrow to such an inacent family. The victimes family should fight for her to stay in prison for as long as possible. And I kind of hope she does get a new trail and that the new jury finds her guilty again and the judge this time gives her life. Just because you are a rich, spoiled brat doesn't mean you should get special treatment.

          • Winters trash posted at 4:00 pm on Sat, Jan 5, 2013.

            Winters trash Posts: 2

            She makes me sick I hope she gets the s*** kicked out of her

          • Winters trash posted at 3:53 pm on Sat, Jan 5, 2013.

            Winters trash Posts: 2

            The whole Winter family is no good trash

          • armyMan 11B posted at 1:41 am on Sat, Jul 7, 2012.

            armyMan 11B Posts: 2

            oh and if any one has a proble with her can shut the HELL up you are all going to do somthing stupid that will change somones life in one way or a nother and even tho im in fort hood i still look after thos who wen to everygreen

          • armyMan 11B posted at 1:38 am on Sat, Jul 7, 2012.

            armyMan 11B Posts: 2

            I went to school with Justine and i know that she would have not done that. she was fighting with her boyfriend at the time. i heard that she texted him that she was going to hit the next car she saw. note that i was some wat good friends with her ex boyfriend now. I think she should only do 8 years. as you may have guessed im in the amry. i have a roommate who was sent to the army cuz he shoot a lady who had a baby in her. i see him wen people bring it up i can see the sad in him cuz of wat he did. she is the same way. young dumb and in love. from the 7th gread till it happend she never ever seem to be the one to kill some one let a lone a baby. she was given every thing she wanted and the one time she could not have wat she wanted she dose somthing like hit a car. i saw her wen got back to school you could see the sad in her eyes as if she was replaying wat happend and every time she did somthing other then hitting that car.

          • cjwilson377 posted at 11:50 pm on Wed, May 9, 2012.

            cjwilson377 Posts: 1

            Justine did wrong when she could not even graciously apologize for their loses. It was all about her. I say they didn't give her long enough when she shows no remorse for a very sad situation. Lives have been destroyed. A new baby was to be born to this young father, his love of his life was killed and a wonderful young musician was killed and their families are in mourning and ahe is only concerned about herself. Add some time on her sentence and teach her some humility and feelings for her fellow man. She is nothing but selfish and doesn't even get it. HELLO, is anybody home.

          • JhoMamah posted at 8:12 pm on Wed, Feb 8, 2012.

            JhoMamah Posts: 1

            I was driving home recently late at night. I was holding my cell phone in my right hand waiting for my wife to call. I dropped my phone and it fell on the passenger side floor. I couldn't reach it so I unbuckled my seat belt and reached for it. Little did I know, this caused me to speed up significantly and swerve to the left. It scared the #@$% out of me because if anyone had been coming the other way, I would have hit them head on. I immediately thought of the program I saw about Justine so I looked her up on the web and found this site. It just makes me wonder because she was texting at that time, unbuckled her seat belt, sped up and swerved to the left just like I did. Maybe I'm crazy but it all makes too much sense. I really think this needs to be considered as a possible explanation. I wish I could get in touch with her or her family but I am from Connecticut so it's not that easy especially with all the people are consumed with hating her. Keep an open mind, perhaps she just made a very tragic mistake. I was just lucky. E-mail me if you know of a way I can get in touch with her, her family or her lawyer. I think it is worth consideration.

          • bill-in-ca posted at 12:04 pm on Wed, Jan 25, 2012.

            bill-in-ca Posts: 1

            justine winter case was handled completely wrong, attorneys in my opinion opt to defend her rather then advise her to admit guilt, plea bargain, ask all involved to forgive her, and put herself to the mercy of the court. by no means does what happen make her an evil person as some people think and feel free to condemn her to a life in prison.

          • Pitbulls posted at 4:15 am on Thu, Nov 17, 2011.

            Pitbulls Posts: 16

            GodHere, you should be ashamed of yourself, claiming you have spoken ' God has spoken' Wow your a jerk..... And nobody won in this case.Didn't you read what Erin's family said..Well read and learn. If anyone should have HATE, It should be there family and they DONT, This girl will pay for her mistakes and the lives she took...So very sorry for Both Family's such a Great Loss..... Remember this; It take nothing to HATE, but take work too be NICE....Sad but true.....Love is Stronger...

          • GodHere posted at 7:39 pm on Sat, Aug 20, 2011.

            GodHere Posts: 1

            Justine... enjoy rotting in hell you scumbag piece of trash. Anyone defending this girl or this Winter family...shame on you, you blind and ignorant sheep !!! God has spoken.

          • Astounded posted at 9:59 pm on Fri, Aug 19, 2011.

            Astounded Posts: 2

            The Truth, Justine Winters should admit her guilt, she murdered three innocent people. The attorney's added insult to injury, Erin Thompson was not guilty of anything other than being a victim of Justine Winters. Why would anyone not hold a grudge for causing more emotional harm on a family that had just lost three of their loved ones because of the acts of a self-pitying monster who murdered their family?

            I am delighted Justine Winters is behind bars, she won't be on the road risking the lives of other innocent mothers, children and unborn babies.

          • The_Truth posted at 7:15 pm on Wed, Jun 22, 2011.

            The_Truth Posts: 2

            Another comment, after having read a few more posts. Again, only trying to help. For those that despise Justine Winter's for filing a wrongful death suit against the Thompson's, you must understand that it had to be done. If your sole defense in the case is to claim that you were not responsible for the crash, then you would have no choice, but to file a lawsuit. It obviously feels like adding insult to injury, but to not file the lawsuit would be clear evidence of admission of guilt. I do not think that anyone should justifiably hold a grudge against Winter's family for it.

          • The_Truth posted at 7:06 pm on Wed, Jun 22, 2011.

            The_Truth Posts: 2

            I only comment on this article to try and bring a tiny bit of consolation to the situation, which will hopefully help those directly affected. This was a sad day for many people and will continue to bring pain and sorrow for years to come, that I cannot begin to imagine. There is nothing that can compare to losing a loved one before their time. I feel that it is my duty to offer up my thoughts, because it may provide even at least one person a little comfort. We cannot put 100% fault on the Winters and her attorneys for sticking to their version of the facts. The facts presented at the trial surrounding the physics of the crash were conclusive and the defense was unable to rebutt them, hence the conviction. Yet, does anyone doubt that the defense had hired an accident reconstructionist, which provided them with a version of the accident, restulting in Justine Winters being the victim? If you were in an accident, resulting in the death of three people, which you do not remember and your own side is providing experts who implore that you did not cause it, would you not cling on to that with all your life? I know that the verdict was correct, but I cannot bring myself to condemn her for sticking to her side of the story. She was made to believe from the very beginning that she was the victim.

          • miapea posted at 7:01 pm on Fri, Jun 10, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 137

            @ whoareyou...Your right..Justine didnt get a fair trial SHE SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN MORE THAN 15 YEARS!!!!!! She couldnt even apologize in court to the Thompson/Odel family so i doubt she has ever apologized... If Justine was one of my children i sure the hell wouldnt have sued the victims estate. I would be there for my children BUT they will be accountable for whatever action they did..I think this whole case would have been different for everyone if Justine showed remorse for her actions and didnt pretend she didnt do anything wrong!! I do agree with you about the jury of her peers but dont you have to be 18 to serve on a jury? Am i wrong? When you get your drivers license you are required to be responsible ADULT!. Running your car into another car cause your boyfriend dumped you isnt responsible therefor whatever happens after you run your car into someone elses is your responsibility and you do the crime you do the time no matter what your age is!!!!!!!!!! Are we just suppose to give her a slap on the wrist cause she was 16? If we did that then every 16 year old would be doing things like deliberate homicide, murder etc cause they know their age would save them from jailtime. How about parents getting more involved with their kids and talk to them more instead of letting them do whatever they want, & be part of their lives... Guess my family is totally unique

          • whoareyou posted at 5:39 pm on Fri, Jun 10, 2011.

            whoareyou Posts: 3

            Was Justine's trial fair? No. Did she recieve a semi-fair punisment? Maybe. She does not need to a make public apology, she only needs to apologies to the Thompsons (if she hasnt already, none of can know for sure if she has or hasnt.).

            To those of you saying I hope she gets shanked in jail, she deserves more time in prison, she's a monster, etc. Look at your children, imagine them in Justines place, how would you feel as a parent if you were to read comments like that. ( and to say your child is smarter than her or they would never do anything like this, your wrong, a parent never knows what thier child capable of.)

            Again, she may be 18 years old now, but at the time of accident she was 16. If the state deemed her an adult at the age of 16, it is her constitutional right to be judged by a jury of her peers, meaing 16 year olds , not adults who are double her age. To say that a person at 16 years of age is adult enough to drive a car, then they should be adult enough to serve on jury. Where was a jury of her peers?

          • cuzican posted at 11:26 am on Fri, Jun 10, 2011.

            cuzican Posts: 231

            This is just sad. She will be up for parole in 7 1/2 years and she has shown no remorse for her actions and taken no responsibility for the accident. Real nice. The judge should have put on an extra 10 years without parole until she can show honest remorse and give a REAL sincere apology to the Thompson family.

            Lets break this down for a minute....she's just graduated from high school....A big part of time spent in prison is spent towards rehabilitation/education.
            So she will most likely receive a free college education while incarcerated along with not having to support herself or have any responsibilities.

            Gee what a bummer, she sits in jail for 7 years, soaks up her free education and is set free still young healthy and ready to join the workforce. Wow, that is just a HORRIBLE punishment.
            Hopefully she will get mental help, take advantage of the education that will no doubt be offered to her, and upon release get a job and become a strong member of a community far away from Kalispell.

          • HardNosed posted at 8:18 pm on Thu, Jun 9, 2011.

            HardNosed Posts: 24

            Justine's parents need to face the facts as well. Rather they like it or not their child's selfish act killed an unborn child, a mother and son. The fact that they continue to chose to try and keep it going is even a bigger insult. They need to get a grip to get over it as well and begin to heal. At least they can visit their daughter and not a gravestone.

          • mymind posted at 7:32 pm on Thu, Jun 9, 2011.

            mymind Posts: 16

            I think you misunderstood me...sorry. The comment wasn't meant to mean I thought she had faced anything or learned anything from this tragedy so far. You are right that she doesn't seem to be showing any remorse.....but to say she deserves to be shanked isn't productive and certainly isn't anything but hateful and mean. I don't like what she did either...but I can hope and pray for her. I still hope that anyone out there that feels the way "msm" states his anger can move beyond it to forgiveness and mercy, not for the deed but for the soul behind it. There is anger...there is loss...there is hearbreak....no denying it, but forgiveness will help heal your soul and may show hers the way to accept her mistake in all this. Why destroy your own soul with hate?

          • miapea posted at 1:28 pm on Thu, Jun 9, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 137

            @ mymind....When i read your comment i couldnt help but think to myself BLAH BLAH BLAH You said "I hope you can find some peace in your soul for others who have had mistakes made and must face them as well" Are you kidding me? Justine has not ONCE faced her mistake nor even own up to it!!! Nobody is without faults but not everyone texts someone saying they are going to run their car into the next car they see and kill 3 people cause of their selfish ways...Yes people make mistakes, i have, but i also know i havent killed anyone cause of my mistakes and if i did i sure the HELL would own up to my mistakes to have peace of mind and be able to move on and learn from them!!! Nobody on this blog can tell me that Justine has learned from this mistake nor even own up to it.......No remorse and that inturn makes me not like what she did even more!

          • mymind posted at 12:05 pm on Thu, Jun 9, 2011.

            mymind Posts: 16

            msm...I pray for those like you...what hateful, vile things you say. I hope you can find some peace in your soul for others who have had mistakes made and must face them as well. Only one small mistake on your part could put you in the same shape and with comments like these. You would do well to try to forgive those who you think or feel have sinned against you in some way. I doubt you are totally without faults as much as you would like to think you might be. Bless you and may there be healing in your heart for all the anger you express.

          • msm posted at 11:09 am on Thu, Jun 9, 2011.

            msm Posts: 46

            I won't lose any sleep if Justine gets shanked in prison.

          • MontanaJim72 posted at 4:03 am on Thu, Jun 9, 2011.

            MontanaJim72 Posts: 225

            Mom 101...I'm not sure what your comment even means. I'm pretty sure most of it just religion that you believe gone crazy. People like you scare me.

          • mysecretreasures posted at 3:31 pm on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            mysecretreasures Posts: 12

            No wonder she can't say sorry, because she has mommy and daddy along with their attorney's keeping this tragedy going. First to sue the estate, and then try to claim it was a mistrial because supposebly there was a witness that came forward after the sentence. Give me a break now her attorney is requesting a new trial-who will they try to pull out of the wood works next. Let this rest My prayers are with Thompson/Odell family.
            For the Winter family I have no sympathy for you----------YOU HAVE DRAGGED THIS OUT WAY TO FAR-------

          • mom posted at 11:19 am on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            mom Posts: 629

            Worse yet, whitetail, her attorneys must have a strategy to use that in her favor, otherwise they could have handed her a simple script to read that starts with the two little words we need to hear... "I'm sorry..."
            We must assume that there is more to come, that she will again insist it was all an accident, not her fault, etc. An apology might be construed as admitting she could have chosen to act differently that evening.

          • whitetail posted at 10:30 am on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            whitetail Posts: 23

            i have to start being more direct... if she truly has brain damage so she can't understand remorse what is wrong with our school system that a brain damaged person can graduate with honors...or if she can graduate with honors how can she utilize the brain damage defense as not being able to understand her responsibility.

          • outdoor lover posted at 8:50 am on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            outdoor lover Posts: 121

            mtdawg, the article online this morning is much clearer as to what her sentence is and I appreciate your clarity on the sentence. My statement is true however. A person can be comitted to the Department of Corrections where the term can be no longer than five years or a prison sentence. When the DI wrote she was sentenced to the Department of Corrections it was an error on there part (that was my point.) Some people do not realize DOC and Prison are two different sentences and placement options.

          • miapea posted at 8:22 am on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 137

            I just heard on the radio this morning that Justine and her so called lawyers are asking for a new trial. This lack of emotion of a selfish brat is never going to go away!!! Just do your time Justine. Get on with your patholic life so the Thompson/Odell family can get on with theirs. Stop letting your parents and lawyers ruin your life even worse!!!!!

          • mtdawg posted at 8:17 am on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            mtdawg Posts: 293

            Outdoor lover, I'm confused by your statement. Justine received two 30 year sentences to run concurrently with 15 years suspended on each one. She is ordered to serve 15 years and is not eligible for parole until she has served 7 1/2 years. Exactly what are you referring to regarding only being committed to the department of corrections for 5 years. The minimum sentence for deliberate homicide is 10 years.

          • mom101 posted at 12:31 am on Wed, Jun 8, 2011.

            mom101 Posts: 8

            So Justine graduated "with honors" from GHS, but is supposed to have brain damage? Really? Justine got assaulted in jail. That seems minor compared to the hell the Thompson and Johnson family have had to deal with the last 2 years. The sentence would be enough for some and not enough for others, no matter the amount of time in prison Justine got. No amount of "time" will ever bring 3 lives back. Justine will face St. Peter at the gates and when asked if she has repented for her sins and Justine says and let me quote her from the article "I'm sorry for their loss but I don't know what you mean [when you say] you want me to say I'm sorry," I did change a word or two. Justine will be sent to the 7th level of hell and here is what that is :Seventh Circle (Violence) Middle ring ( outer ring) This ring houses the violent against people and property, who are immersed in Phlegethon, a river of boiling blood and fire, to a level commensurate with their sins: Alexander the Great is immersed up to his eyebrows, although Dante praises Alexander at other points in the poem, meaning he might be referring to a different Alexander. Dionysius I of Syracuse, Azzolino da Romano, Guy de Montfort, Obizzo d'Este, Ezzelino III da Romano, Rinier da Corneto, and Rinier Pazzo are also seen in the Phlegethon as well as references to Atilla the Hun. The Centaurs, commanded by Chiron and Pholus, patrol the ring, firing arrows into those trying to escape. The centaur Nessus guides the poets along Phlegethon and across a ford in the river (Canto XII). This passage may have been influenced by the early medieval Visio Karoli Grossi.[27]
            So Justine will pay for the crimes that she has been found guilty of.

          • gehugh posted at 11:18 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            gehugh Posts: 76

            This is a true tragedy in the Flathead. I wonder about Justine's parents and accountibility in the way in which they raised (?) their daughter. Justine was a minor child at the time of the accident. I am glad to see the shennigans of her attorney are put to an end.
            May the Thompson family begin their healing

          • montana34 posted at 10:16 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            montana34 Posts: 3

            Justine Winters deserves way longer than fifteen years in jail, to take three people's lives and not even feel enough remorse to apoligize? No normal person could be that messed up. She is a killer and that is all she will ever amount to. Head truama or not she knew exactly what she was doing and since it didn't work out as planned it is now considered an "accident" I dont know much about this judge but anyone with common sence would have given her way more than fifteen years like she deserves.

          • mcshortypants54 posted at 9:43 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            mcshortypants54 Posts: 2

            okay, ALL i can say is im from small town COLUMBIA FALLS mt, & mr. jason thompson, the husband, step father, & soon to be father of the THREE (because his wife erin thompson was pregnant during the crash) is a good man! full hearted family man who talked about his wife with love. as a student at his school, i could even see that... and that was his family. he didnt have any other kids and this ANIMAL, aka justine winters took it away from him. first off, there were witnesses of the crash that could verify that justine went over into the oncoming traffic at 85 mph so IT WAS HER FAULT! & at 15, why was she doing 85 in the first place?? plus, she had sent a text message to somone saying she was going to kill herself... so whether justine remember the crash or not, there is solid proof that it was NO ACCIDENT! she took a piece of this town with herr when she selfishly acted out of control. i think 15 years is NOT LONG ENOUGH! judge curtis is a FAIR judge, & i dont think she understands the loss she put them through. JUSTINE WINTERS... I HOPE YOU CAN READ THIS, YOUR A SICK PERSON, BLAME THE HEAD TRAMA ALL YOU WANT, BUT YOUR A KILLER! & NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU DENY THAT, THATS WHAT YOU ALWAYS WILL BE!!! hopefully 15 years in jail/prison will give you enough time to realize the right thing to do... which is apologize to the family since you couldnt do that now! thats all. my heart goes out to you mr. thompson and your family!!

          • outdoor lover posted at 7:34 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            outdoor lover Posts: 121

            I am sitting here wondering if the DI got the sentence correctly. A person may only be committed to the Department of Corrections for a term of no more than five years. Does anyone know what her actual sentence was? If this sentence was in fact imposed, it is illegal.

          • mymind posted at 7:14 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            mymind Posts: 16

            whitetail....hats off to you. Something you don't see here very often and I have to commend you, well done apology. She did earn the honor with her grades and work through the school year...have to give her her due. I don't think this case should have any bearing on her accomplishment there....two different things. I get it that you are trying to tie the mental aspect of the grades and the supposed block of remorse but I don't think they are actually related to each other.

          • whitetail posted at 5:38 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            whitetail Posts: 23

            ya the levy statement was stupid, and it took away from my point about being brain damaged and graduating with honors from glacier h.s.

          • bearclaw7 posted at 4:41 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            bearclaw7 Posts: 1

            I may be wrong, but I don't think I am.... Wasn't it the choice of her parents and her lawyer that she waive her right to the manslaughter charge? By not taking responsibility and not signing a plea agreement her parents and her lawyer made it impossible for her to get the charge of manslaughter. They all knew this before that decision was made and still made the decision knowing she would be charged with delibrate homicide if found guilty. By not taking accountability she lost the ability obtain a manslaughter charge. A charge which would have fit the crime. This is just another example of someone not taking responsibility for their actions. Shame on her parents for letting this go so far! If they'd done the right thing from the beginning their daughter would be facing a manslaughter charge, most likely no time in jail, and she would understand what saying you're sorry means. I don't believe that an intelligent person, capable of earning a high school diploma with honors can't understand that. This now, adult woman, should stop all this craziness, take responsibility, say she's sorry, show some remorse, tell her parents to get lost, and hire herself a new lawyer to fight for a new trial based on the fact that her parents made a really bad choice on her behalf. That is, if that's even an option...

          • truthspeaks posted at 4:25 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            truthspeaks Posts: 121

            Whitetail, did you by chance eat some brownies at the Summit oh say Saturday night??? If so it might justify your totally unrelated and ignorant comment.

          • halcyon posted at 3:53 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            halcyon Posts: 46

            Wow whitetail, talk about off topic. How can you leap from this tragedy of lives lost and ruined to "don't vote for any more levy increases"?

            Talk about brain damage......

          • whitetail posted at 3:19 pm on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            whitetail Posts: 23

            lets see if i have this right a student at Glacier High has severe brain damage and graduates with honors. Glacier may want to make the honors program a little more dificult. or is this just the obvious denial either way it is not good, don't vote for anymore levy increases

          • AB0902 posted at 11:04 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            AB0902 Posts: 15

            @ Racetime: "If you people had paid attention when this whole thing first began, part of the injuries that she sustained wiped out her ability to show any kind of remorse." Are you suggesting that head trauma has turned this young woman into a a sociopath, because from what I have read on the subject, I am pretty sure an inability to experience remorse is the hallmark of that condition, and if that is your contention, are we really any better off? Also I would like to point out that she troubled long before the accident, with her longtime therapist even being called to testify at trial, and engaging in an, according to her defense, unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend. Head trauma is not going to improve those behaviors. Fault of the accident aside, do you believe she is safe to be in the general public in her unmanaged/unsupervised condition?

            I am sorry for both sides. There is no joy. Only pain.

            Also you cannot receive forgiveness if can't admit a wrong. Just a thought

          • mom posted at 10:56 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            mom Posts: 629

            Kitty was doing a pretty good job in this case, I was surprised so far. Up till yesterday.
            Justine failing to simply apologize says an awful lot. I am more disgusted with her than ever.
            The next time some self centered punk uses this method of suicide I hope its either Justine or Judge Curtis in the other car. Better yet, both.

          • stunned posted at 10:13 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            stunned Posts: 181

            I have a feeling that Justine is going to financially benefit from this. Book deal? Movie? I'm just throwing that out there. I hope I'm way off base. Any thoughts?

          • mymind posted at 10:02 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            mymind Posts: 16

            kalispelldude...yes...the evidence did indeed convict her...there were opposing views given to support arguments for both sides....such a shame that it turned out that one side was believed by physical evidence that supported that format of view. I don't honestly care if you were there for all the testimony....all the evidence presented....if you viewed each photo as they were presented or even if you may have missed a physics class or two in your education....the evidence was what it was....the testimony of the "experts" was what it was, and when all was taken into account....members of the jury were asked to sort it out as to what was truth and what was conjecture or intentional warping of facts. I never saw a picture of a puppy...with anyone or by itself...I only saw facts that pertained to the accident. You say the family of Erin Thompson doesn't feel it was DELIBERATE HOMICIDE?? and I unfortunately say you are probably right on that one...they are forgiving and willing to give her the benefit of the doubt...shame that the state judicial system must work within their own rules or they would have been able to call it something else too maybe. The fact is that if you were to read some law you may just find that they charged her correctly...by definition of the law as it was used in the case. I have a more tender heart than you might believe but I have to look at the facts and not my heart's dearly held feelings. The law is there to read if you choose and it states that deliberate homicide does indeed fit the crime here. To steal your thunder ahead of you...yes I called it an accident...for lack of a better description to indicate the involvement of two vehicles coming together with extreme force. I read the law and the word MALICIOUS was not in what I read...sorry....it said ,once again, since you have been on this tangent before and would seem to have ignored it before " To convict a defendant of deliberate homicide the State must prove the following elements: That the defendant caused the death and that the defendant acted knowingly. Definition of knowingly....A person acts "knowingly" when that person is aware there exists the high probability that the person's conduct will cause a specific result. Perhaps a different judge will have a view that is acceptable to you...she will be trying that avenue I am sure as there is still no admission of guilt so far from that side of the decision.

          • michael posted at 8:56 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            michael Posts: 546

            Racetime says " part of the injuries that she sustained wiped out her ability to show any kind of remorse. And I know that no one really apparently cares" She SAYS she doesn't remember. How convenient for her. As to no one really caring, I'd say most of us do care as we'd like the killer to remember every day, every minute the precious 3 lives she took and the people she has destroyed.

            Kalispell dude, with your way of thinking I'll bet you don't think Bin Laden killed all those people in the Twin Towers either. He probably just meant to destroy the buildings. Darn people always get in the way.

          • miapea posted at 8:55 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            miapea Posts: 137

            Justine's words to Erins family were "I'm sorry for your loss but I don't know what you mean [when you say] you want me to say I'm sorry," "I just want you guys to know that you may feel I don't take accountability but it's not accountability I need to take," she said. "It's, it's - I don't know what it is."
            She still isnt owning up to her actions!!!
            I was shocked to see she is only getting 15 years with MAYBE parole at 71/2 (hopefully not). I'm glad to hear that Erins family is trying to forgive Justine for her careless actions. That has to be hard for them to do. I did get upset when Justine's parents were say their sorry's on Justine's behalf when Justine herself should be saying it.
            I do believe the Justice system in this Valley is backwards. I have read people getting stiffer sentencings then what Justine got and they didnt even deliberately kill 3 people. Punishment does NOT fit the crime!!!!! I do hope for Justine's sake that she turns this around and does something good out of it. So far not accepting responsibility isnt doing something good. To tell you the truth, even if Justine got 30 years, 40 years, life, it doesnt matter...Justine's family can still see her in the flesh...Erins family/friends will never see her, Caden or that little baby EVER!!!!! I hope that eats at Justine for the rest of her life! So far Justine is still showing she doesnt even care!

          • kalispelldude posted at 8:35 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            kalispelldude Posts: 220

            "...the evidence convicted her....", no, it was some "experts'" OPINIONS that convicted her. "Experts" whose credentials and actions had serious questions that were not addressed by the court. There were other "experts" who disagreed with the official story, and who were discredited in court (by some sleezeball lawyer for the prosecution), while the prosecution's "experts" have not been scrutinized the same way.

            Justice is being fair to BOTH sides, not just the one that shows photos if them with puppy dogs. Whatever helps you sleep better at night I guess. Most of you act like a bunch of hypocritical hillbilly morons with no understanding of true justice and fairness. Kinda makes me happy now that this valley has suffered so much over the last couple of years....it is extremely corrupt.

            I find it interesting that even Thompson's family members admit that it wasn't actually DELIBERATE HOMICIDE: "While you may not have planned to kill three people, that is what your actions caused," she said. Doesn't sound deliberate to me. Nor does it sound like homicide. Even IF she caused the accident, the only person she was thinking (thinking=deliberate) about killing was herself.

            SHE IS NOT A MURDERER, BECAUSE THIS WAS NOT MURDER!! IT WAS MANSLAUGHTER (IF it was ACTUALLY her fault)!!!!! Legal definition of manslaughter: The unlawful killing of a human being without malice or premeditation, either express or implied; distinguished from murder, which requires malicious intent. LEGAL DEFINITION OF MURDER REQUIRES MALICIOUS INTENT. MALICIOUS INTENT. Even Thompson's family doesn't believe there was MALICIOUS INTENT.

            Now you all go and stroke your little masochistic alter egos and feel good about yourselves. "Justice was done!" BLAH!!!!!

            Now take it to the Supreme Court, Stufft.

          • 888111 posted at 8:32 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            888111 Posts: 541

            she doesn't understand,about saying shes sorry after all this time, are you kidding me,no accountability at all,hope it seven long years for randy and family, bye bye justine hopefully you do 30

          • soldiergirl41 posted at 8:05 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            soldiergirl41 Posts: 15

            I am shocked at the harsh hearts and judging attitudes. The victims family has offered some kind of forgiveness with the acknowledgement of responsibilty but those that have lost nothing and are armchair lawyers with nothing but hearsay ( which is what it is when you only get your news from the paper or TV) Shame on you all. We should take a lesson from the victims family and forgive and pray that this young lady will get the help that she needs. As for loosing confidence in our judicial system...PLEASE!! What judicial system. There is no real justice system in this valley. There is corruption and greed. There are good lawyers in this valley - but you would never know it by the greedy, nasty bottom feeders that over shadow their efforts. Judges that are not fair and impartial but help the prosecution when they fall short in twisting their real or fake cases. Criminals go free to pay for information and innocent people are framed so that the County Attorney's office can save face.
            Flathead County I hope you eventially hear the clanging of the bell and wake up before your hometown makes the Chicago Mob look like petty theives.

          • KillTheIlluminati posted at 7:36 am on Tue, Jun 7, 2011.

            KillTheIlluminati Posts: 2

            1 corrupt lawyer + 1 totally ego-centric, self-serving, criminally unremorseful teen-aged girl putting on yet another act + 1 spineless judge (You're not supposed to lighten a criminal's sentence without recognisance.) = one of the biggest shams that the Flathead valley has ever had to witness

            Damage = Community losing confidence in the judicial system; murderous, self-worshipping diva running free in 8 years; corrupt lawyer continuing to practice (and inspire more shams on the public); victims' family forced to live without their loved ones until the next life

            Justice has not been fully done, but in the eternities, it shall.

          • MrMark posted at 9:29 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            MrMark Posts: 359

            I for one am thoroughly disgusted! Let this be "Kitty's" downfall! Terrible judge! (Using the word very loosely with no respect whatsoever!) The only reason she is still in office is because no one went up against her! I wrote in Donald Duck! No parole for you, honey! And with an inability to convey remorse, I'm sure that won't be a tough decision!

          • HardNosed posted at 9:12 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            HardNosed Posts: 24

            she got off easy for what she did. she better be thanking any lucky star that may exist for her.

          • mymind posted at 8:23 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            mymind Posts: 16

            racetime...what trial were you watching again? I sat through a ton of photographic evidence get presented...I saw nothing to reinforce any theory that would have made the collision happen anywhere other than where the prosecution showed it did. The one witness ...hired by the defense I might add...that tried to show otherwise didn't show me one piece of his theory that really stood up to the physical evidence as shown by the photographs of the scene. Sorry if its part of your friends and/or family or something....but there was little you could defend in a Southbound lane collision theory...it just wasn't supported by the photos. As for the injuries portion...I can't speak to what she does or doesn't feel...it may be that she can't show remorse...either way she will have some time to find it...I hope she can.

          • racetime posted at 7:35 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            racetime Posts: 2

            If you people had paid attention when this whole thing first began, part of the injuries that she sustained wiped out her ability to show any kind of remorse. And I know that no one really apparently cares, but the collision was proved by people on both sides to have happened on her side of the road.

          • lilpbear posted at 6:30 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            lilpbear Posts: 1

            That is such crap!!!!!! She should have gotten the max for what she did. She doesnt deserve parole in 71/2 years. She doesnt even show any remorse for what she did, she shouldnt be aloud to be on the roads again.

          • averagejoe posted at 5:26 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            averagejoe Posts: 253

            I can find no sympathy for her until the point she shows true remorse for her actions. She will have to offer some in 71/2 years when she is up for parole. Hopefully at that time it is true remorse and an understanding as to how she destroyed so many lives, not just her own. As for her father I can understand him standing by her through the process but the contempt I now feel for him after filing the lawsuit against the family is beyond description. I have known Randy for over 30 years and when I now see him in public I turn and walk the other way or pray he does not come over and sit by me. As for her attorneys there is a nice place in hell waitng for them, they did not have to file the lawsuit but either instigated it or went along with it as some sort of twisted strategy. They should at the very least be disbarred for causing additional emotional turmoil for the Thompson and Johnson families.

          • skigirl posted at 4:55 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            skigirl Posts: 14

            For someone of this frame of mind (not to mention her father who has tried suing the estate of the people killed), 7 1/2 years, 40 years, or life - it doesn't matter. She's a sick person now and she'll always be sick. Scary thing is, my 9 year old will be learning to drive when she gets out. Hopefully she doesn't try a repeat. Where is her remorse? I'm not sad for her or her family. They've never tried to accept responsibility. They've done everything from blaming the poor woman who was killed to blaming the state for not properly painting the lines on the road. She's a murderer. Nothing less. I don't pray for the Winter family - there are too many others that are more deservant - like Mr. Thompson who lost his ENTIRE family in one day.

          • msm posted at 4:38 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            msm Posts: 46

            Seven and a half years? They should strap her into a car and slam it into a tree at 85 mph.

          • out of towner posted at 4:08 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            out of towner Posts: 10

            Even though I don't live in the valley anymore, I still keep up with the news on a day to day basis. I have been following this case since the beginning, and was checking the website all day today waiting for the sentence to be handed down. After seeing the sentence, my first thought would be to think it is not enough. Everyone has their opinion on if she was guilty, or not guilty. Frankly, I don't care. At the end of the day, there was still 3 people killed in a car accident, and a mound of evidence to prove that she did it on purpose. (Even if she did not mean to. Again, I am not siding one way or the other, but there was more evidence to prove one way and not the other.) For the judge, it has to be a tough call to put a number on a lost life. I just don't think 5 years for each (15 years total), and possibly out in 7 1/2 is enough. Just does not seem right. It will be very hard to for the family to see this person out in that amount of time for killing 3 family members. But again, they probably don't ever want to see her out.

          • 3Ms1J posted at 3:51 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            3Ms1J Posts: 1

            I couldn't have said it better myself, mymind. Most of what I read in these comments are people passing harsh judgements on those involved in stories they no nothing about. Nobody on either side deserves the pain that has come from this, although I know there will be many who argue that Justine does, because she killed three people. She didn't deserve the pain she was feeling that caused her to do something so horrible. Imagine what that young girl is dealing with getting used to the fact that she will spend 7 1/2 years in prison. My heart goes out to the Thompson family. Prayers for all involved.

          • mymind posted at 3:24 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            mymind Posts: 16

            Justice...Is it? There are still three lives that shall never be...fair?...I think in a way...more than I think I would have given if it were mine to do. Some will scream foul, that it was way too much....some will say it was no where near enough and in ways all are right. You can never make up for someones' death that was not deserved, and, after a point...you can punish no more and make it worth while, and yet the Thompson family will bear grief long after she is released. Judge Curtis made a fair judgement in what she believed....that is what she does....I am sorry she had to make this call. Justine was convicted in a fair way ...I sat through it all....and must face some consequence for her part in this...simple fact. She was convicted in a trial..regardless of what some say...on presented facts and tons of photos and hours of testimony. She was convicted ,jkstraw, way before the hospital...the evidence convicted her and it was left at the scene...before she got to the hospital..enough said on that
            Sad day...sad for all...Justine...the Thompsons..me ..you...everyone who thought about this tragedy. There is sadness enough for all of us...I hope she can be forgiven by the family...and forgive the family for wanting a measure of justice for their kin.

          • Red Green posted at 3:08 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            Red Green Posts: 207

            Woefully inadequate! If this sentence makes ME this angry when I don't know anyone involved, I just can't image what I'd do if it were my family she'd killed. Nary a day goes by that I don't look at other cars and wonder if behind the wheel sits some stupid teenager with his/her eye on my grille looking to make the girlfriend/boyfriend pay for it.

            It will be interesting to read about the judges comments in this case, if she made any. I fail to see how two lives and the deeply emotional pain to many others is only worth 7.5 -15 years. Does not compute.

          • jkstraw posted at 2:58 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            jkstraw Posts: 4

            She was convicted before she even got out of the hospital. Sad indeed.

          • michael18 posted at 2:52 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            michael18 Posts: 2

            She should have at least gotten 15 years , no parole.

          • HotandCold posted at 2:38 pm on Mon, Jun 6, 2011.

            HotandCold Posts: 1

            It makes me sad that this all happened, sad that she thought that this was the only option that she had, and sad that those three died because of it. Having said that 15 years with a chance of parole in 7 and a half seems a little short on what is fair.


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