By Thad Ayers
Phoenix Staff Writer
Robin Adair appeared surprised when Glenna Lewis — sentenced on two counts of negligent homicide — hugged him in court Tuesday.
Lewis, 47, was ordered to complete 200 hours of community service within two years by the Muskogee County special judge. She also will pay more than $2,600 in court costs.
The Warner resident was found guilty Sept. 5 in the July 19, 2011, deaths of Charles Taylor, 45, and Monette Taylor, 43, of Arkansas. Lewis hit the couple with her sport utility vehicle while the Taylors were riding a motorcycle on U.S. 64 about two miles north of Warner.
Adair said he could have put Lewis in jail, but said that would “only increase the tragedy.”
“I’m absolutely convinced this was an accident,” he said, adding neither texting while driving nor alcohol was suspected.
Messages to members of the Taylor family were not answered Tuesday.
The judge could have given a sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine per count. Lewis’ license could have also been revoked, according to state law.
Adair also said in court he was sure Lewis was “genuinely sorry that this event occurred.”
Outside the courtroom Lewis gathered in a circle with family and her attorney Lowell G. Howe. They held hands and prayed together.
Lewis said later with her husband Johnny that she was relieved at the ruling.
“I hugged him because I wanted him to know that, I’m not mad, I’m grateful,” she said. “The last two years have been terrible for Johnny and I and my family.”
Howe said he was grateful for the mercy Adair used in his sentencing.
Assistant District Attorney James Carnagey said the ruling was “what I expected.”
Testimony was given during the trial by Lewis. She said her sport utility vehicle was having trouble and had been to an auto mechanic 10 days prior to the fatal crash.
Lewis said she glanced at her SUV’s gauges and took her eyes off the road momentarily. She then said she heard a noise and felt her run over something, but thought it was an animal.
The Taylors were pronounced dead at the scene.
Reach Thad Ayers at (918) 684-2903 or firstname.lastname@example.org.