Mother Pleads for Justice in Son's Death

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Grand Prairie mother is pleading for a harsher sentence for the man who took her son's life. Police said 19-year-old Naiim Bethea was fatally struck by a drunk driver and is supposed to be sentenced next week. (Published Wednesday, Jun 4, 2014)

    A Grand Prairie mother is pleading for a harsher sentence for the man that took her son's life.

    Sharon Bethea lost her 19-year-old son Naiim Bethea one year ago when he was fatally struck by a vehicle.

    Police said driver 31-year-old George Roarx had a blood alcohol content of .11 but don't believe alcohol was a factor that let him to hit Bethea. The spokesperson for the Dallas County district attorney's office said they can't prove that alcohol in the driver's system caused this death, adding there are other factors to consider. 

    There were no signs of dangerous driving, like speeding or switching lanes, to make an intoxication manslaughter case.

    They also said when the victim was hit, he was walking on the wrong side of the road, wearing dark clothing and headphones, and had traces of marijuana in his system. Police said the side he waslkin on did not have a sidewalk when the vehicle struck him. The impact sent him over the guardrail and down 19 feet to his death.

    The district attorney's spokesperson expected Roarke to plead guilty next Tuesday and hoped for at least a 21-month probation sentence.

    Bethea said she was pushing to pass tougher Texas laws, saying it was not fair for Roarx to get away with only probation time when he killed her son.

    For the past year, the grieving mother said she never got closure on the death of her son. She said it upset her to know that the man who killed her son is facing a DWI charge and not intoxicated manslaughter.

    "I think that's the first time I actually got mad because I couldn't believe it," Bethea said. "I couldn't understand it."

    The district attorney's spokesperson also said when someone dies due to an intoxicated driver, the law does not allow them to convict on that basis alone. In this case, she said there were no bad driving facts like speeding, switching lanes, or making skid marks to make an intoxication manslaughter case.

    Bethea, however, said the bottom line is that her son was hit and killed by a drunken driver and she is now on a mission to pass a law that's aimed at giving harsher punishments for such motorists.

    "Drunk drivers just can't get in the car, drink, drive, go to jail, and then be released on probation," she said.