LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The legal saga that went on for more than two decades involving Jessica Williams, the Nevada woman who killed six teens in March 2000, is now over.
Williams' case received national attention in the crash which shined a spotlight on marijuana, ecstasy, and how much of the substance or the metabolites in the blood effected a person's ability to drive.
"When somebody picks up a gun, or picks up a knife and commits a murder, the jury understands that - they are familiar with that - but trying to explain nanograms per liter and the effects of ecstasy on the bloodstream and driving skills; that's out of most people's league," said Court TV's Nancy Grace at the time.
Williams was found guilty and was sentenced to between 18 and 48 years for the crash in the median I-15, north of Las Vegas.
The teens, ranging between 14-16, were collecting trash as part of a jail diversion program at the time they were hit.
One of the victims was 14-year-old Scott Garner Jr.
"It was my job in life to protect that boy and give him the best that I could," said Scott Garner Sr.
13 Action News spoke to Scott Garner Sr. days after the crash in 2000.
Now two decades later, Williams is back in the news.
Williams was granted parole and released from prison in October 2019.
Recently, a federal judge found Williams was wrongfully convicted on DUI charges, and instead Williams entered a guilty plea for involuntary manslaughter.
13 Investigates received a written statement from her attorney regarding the situation:
The Nevada Attorney General will not appeal U.S. District Court Judge Dawson’s ruling where he vacated her convictions for the Felony DUI causing death because Judge Dawson determined Ms. Williams was wrongfully convicted of these Felony DUI charges. To put an end to the matter, on August 13, 2020, Ms. Williams entered a plea to felony involuntary manslaughter - what she has long maintained what happened in that she fell asleep at the wheel resulting in this tragic accident. Her case is now closed without any additional prison time being imposed and she is now off of parole.
The case may be closed but Scott Garner says it will never be over for him.
"Every time I go by the funeral home down the road from me, it's never forgotten," Garner said.
"His picture is on the wall, I look at it, that's never forgotten; how old would he be today, would he be married today, would be graduated from college? It's never forgotten," added Garner.
The Clark County District Attorney released a statement regarding the Jessica Williams case Wednesday:
“Ms. Williams entered a guilty plea to the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter, which is a Felony. Although her previous convictions in this case were dismissed by the Appellate Court, she served 19 years in prison for those convictions. Her plea of guilty is a result of her desire to accept responsibility for her actions, as well as our obligation to ensure that the families of the victims realize justice in the loss of their loved ones. This was a terrible and avoidable tragedy, and family members continue to feel the void in their lives. Ms. Williams completed her prison sentence, and nothing would be accomplished by re-trying her case. I believe this is a fair outcome.”
Garner questions if justice was truly served in the case for his son and the other five victims and their families.
"I'm done with it, it doesn't matter what I say, or what my feelings are, or anything, they are going to do as they do," said Garner.
Nevada laws have changed since the crash.
Marijuana is now legal but the amount of the substance and the resulting metabolites in the blood that triggers a DUI charge and supposed to indicate a person's level of impairment remain in dispute.
Williams maintains she fell asleep at the wheel before the crash.
13 Investigates requested an interview with Williams' attorney but the request was not granted.