A North Delta woman who killed a Surrey woman while driving drunk wants to be a youth probation officer who would use the experience of her own crime to try to steer others from choosing the path she chose.
After she gets out of federal prison, that is.
Family members of victim Kassandra Kaulius laughed when they heard that in Surrey provincial court on Tuesday. Natasha Leigh Warren, 35, will be sentenced on Dec. 28.
"I think it's a lot of words" the victim's mother, Markita Kaulius, said later outside the courthouse. "Whether I believe that or not, time will tell."
Warren pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, failing to remain at the scene of a crash and driving with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit causing death in connection with the May 3, 2011 collision that killed Kaulius, 22.
Crown prosecutor Crichton Pike argued for a 42-month prison term while defence lawyer Mark Cacchioni argued for 25 months. Both agreed the prison term, whatever it will be, should be followed by a five-year driving prohibition for Warren.
Warren was drunk when she ran a red light at 152nd Street and 64th Avenue and slammed her company van into the driver's side of Kaulius' BMW at 103 kilometres an hour.
Warren then tried to hide from police in a nearby vacant lot, but got caught.
Cacchioni conceded the Kalius family is living though an "unimaginable horror" but stressed that his client wants to atone for her crime.
"This is a decent young woman who did a very bad thing with tragic consequences," he said of Warren.
Speaking to the sentence the Crown is seeking, Cacchioni told Judge Gurmail Gill that "no useful purpose can result to society by warehousing her for that time." Rather, he argued society would be better served by her sharing her experiences as a youth probation officer. Before the crash, she was working in property restorations.
Her psychologist, Dale Trimble, said Warren, a criminology student, told him she couldn't live with herself if she didn't plead guilty. He said she wants to tell others, particularly young people, about her crime in an effort to convince them not to drink and drive. Her mother Shelley Warren, who works as an alcohol and addictions worker in Vancouver, said her daughter is "a very, very good, kind-hearted person" who did volunteer work in the community before the fatal crash. "It's been her destiny to help others," she told the court.
On Monday, the court heard heart-wrenching victim impact statements from the victim's family. Kassandra Kaulius was a scholarship-winning athlete who coached softball and pitched for the Surrey Storm. She also had a fianc.
Asked for her reaction to the Kaulius' statements, Warren's mother replied "There are no words...I am also a parent of three children."
She said her daughter has taken away keys from drunken people who were thinking about getting behind the wheel and that her crime was "very out of character.
"She's just a regular girl," she cried.
Markita Kaulius, Kassandra's mother, walked out of the courtroom Tuesday when Warren's mother commented that everything the Kaulius family had said about Kassandra in their victim impact statements "mirrors" her own daughter.
"I was very offended by that," Kaulius said outside court.
Kaulius said her daughter never would have driven drunk, let alone run away after killing someone.
"They're not similar in any way, shape or form."
Judge Gurmail Gill asked Natasha Warren if she had anything to say, after her lawyer finished his submissions.
"If I could take it back, I'd trade places with her in a second," Warren told the judge.
"Just please don't drink and drive, because it hurts so many people."
The court heard that Warren, who has been on bail since her arrest, had told her psychologist, "I don't feel I deserve to be with my family at Christmas because they don't have her at Christmas."
Kaulius said outside court that she wanted Warren to spend this Christmas in prison. Warren will be sentenced three days after, however.
"Our angel on top of our tree is our daughter," Kaulius said.
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