LARGO — For Stacy Lynn Naples, the bad decisions started when she took her 5-year-old nephew to a drug deal. They got worse when sheriff's deputies tried to pull her car over and she sped away.
She ran a stop sign and veered into oncoming traffic before smashing into another car, killing 50-year-old Richard Trompke.
On Tuesday, the 30-year-old mother of three pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide, aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer, child neglect, possession of cocaine and marijuana, and other charges from that July 13, 2011, crash near 11th Street and First Avenue N in St. Petersburg.
"I just want to say I'm sorry to the family," Naples said in court.
Her attorney, Hector Rivera, said Naples had suffered a "horrific" childhood of abuse, but acknowledged the accident was horrific as well. He asked for the minimum sentence of about 14 years in prison.
But Trompke's brother Steve told the court that "the minimum hardly seems adequate for someone who has shown complete disregard for the laws of society."
Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Timothy Peters seemed to agree, saying "this is not a bottom-of-the-guidelines situation. This is a horrific situation."
He said he wanted a significant prison sentence followed by probation, to give her an incentive to behave after her eventual release.
Assistant State Attorney Doneene Dresback Loar suggested 20 years in prison. Naples had multiple previous cases of driving with a suspended license.
After some discussion, Naples offered to plead guilty in exchange for an 18-year prison sentence followed by five years of probation. Peters gave her that sentence and permanently revoked her driver's license.
Naples' nephew was not injured in the crash.
Steve Trompke said the death of his brother had "left a hole in every holiday, birthday and family get-together for the rest of my life."
And from Naples' comments in court, it was clear the crash will have a lasting effect on her family as well. The judge asked her a series of standard questions after her guilty plea, including whether she had any questions of her own.
Yes, Naples said: "I have three kids. I don't know what to do with them."
The judge said he could not offer advice on that.
She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and given credit for the time she already had spent in jail: one day.