Woman sentenced to 8 years in deadly DUI crash

Paul Goins places flowers at the site of the collision that killed his daughter on March 13, 2012. Several family members gathered at the site following the sentencing hearing.

Paul Goins places flowers at the crash site where his daughter, Angelica Goins-Jones (top left), was killed on March 13, 2012. Several family members gathered at the site following the sentencing hearing.

LANCASTER – A 29-year-old woman has been sentenced to eight years in prison for driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a Lancaster woman and critically injured the woman’s husband.

Jodi Lynn Biers was sentenced in an Antelope Valley courtroom Friday morning, about one month after she pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a .08 blood alcohol level and causing injury.

The convictions stem from an early morning crash on March 13, 2012 that killed 42-year-old Angelica Goins-Jones and critically injured Patrick Jones.

Jodi Biers worked for the U.S. Forest Service.

Jodi Biers worked for the U.S. Forest Service.

Authorities said Biers’ blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit when her pickup truck ran a red light at the intersection of 10th Street West and Avenue L and slammed into the couple’s vehicle.

Angelica died on impact, and Patrick spent the next month on life support at Antelope Valley Hospital before he started a slow recovery, according to family members.

Biers was originally ordered to stand trial for murder and three DUI-related felonies in connection with the crash, but the murder charge was dismissed after Biers reached a plea deal with prosecutors. Angelica’s father allowed the plea agreement because he did not want to ruin Biers’ life, according to family members.

Several of those family members packed the courtroom for the emotional sentencing hearing Friday morning. Angelica’s sister-in-law, Nicole Jones, read a victim impact statement on behalf of  Patrick Jones and the couple’s daughter, Taylor.

Angelica was a loving person who would have wanted the family to forgive Biers, Nicole Jones explained.

“Jodi we do forgive you and pray that Jehovah wraps his arms around you and gives you the peace that he’s given us,” Nicole Jones said.

Biers also addressed the court, saying she could never adequately express the remorse she felt for the pain she’d caused the family.

“If I could bear this burden alone I would,” Biers said, speaking directly to Angelica’s family members.

Biers said she had been sharing her story while in county lockup and hoped to continue to share her story so that others would not make the same mistake.

“I will do whatever I can to continue helping people,” Biers said.

“I just hope she does realize that she has been given the second chance that Angie will never have, and I hope she learns from it and becomes a better person,” Nicole Jones said after the hearing.

Angelica’s cousin, Rochelle Smith, said she has been writing Biers twice a month since August as a way of letting go of her anger. After months of communicating with Biers, Smith said she was ready to forgive.

“God is a forgiving God and I can’t get my blessings if I hold on to hate,” Smith said. “Angie had no malice in her heart for anyone.”

The two families shared tearful hugs outside of the courtroom. Biers’ father, Dallas, distributed a handwritten poem from his daughter to the Goins-Jones family.

“I’m so glad this is over, because now everyone can move on with their lives and heal,” said Angelica’s close friend, Carolyn Clayborn Guice.

Updated: Biers was given credit for 463 days in custody (403 days actual custody and 60 days good time/work time.)

Previous related stories:

Driver takes plea deal in Lancaster DUI death crash

Preliminary hearing reveals details of fatal DUI crash

Biers charged with murder, bail raised to $1 million in alleged DUI crash

Alleged DUI driver pleads not guilty, family grieves victims

Woman killed Tuesday by suspected DUI driver in Lancaster

  10 comments for “Woman sentenced to 8 years in deadly DUI crash

  1. Sweets sandy
    May 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    The system really sucks !! She should have got LIFE!! Bet she start drinking on her release date !! She only sorry cause she got caught !!

  2. rotten justice system
    April 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    the man who killed my niece got 10 years 8 1/2 mandatory due to it wasn’t his first dui seems like our family is being punished due to his stupidity and nonsense behind the wheel ik she paid the price her life for getting in that car but it wont bring her back now her babies wont be able to kiss her goodnight say I love u mommy hugs when there sad kiss there booboos when there hurt or even see them grow up but he deserves a harsher sentence then that its not right our family lost not only the most beautiful person we lost her babies due to the man who killed there mother just days of being released from the hospital march first takes those babies from a home they have only known there entire life to take them away from us and we have seen them but 2 times since then what kind of justice is this for a repeated dui and only gets that it will never stop all theses dui that’s happening its because people don’t care and they realize they wont do much time if they get caught its so wrong my heart goes out to this family we know what your going through

  3. April 22, 2013 at 9:08 pm

    only 8 years wow that it

  4. SJGranai
    April 20, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Judges will take in consideration the family’s statement (or lack thereof) when they impose sentencing. The victim’s family AND one of the victims made it clear they did not want harsh sentencing imposed on this young woman.

    A young man received 10 years for killing the mother of his children while driving drunk.. and it wasn’t enough for the blood thirsty crowd here.

    The family has forgiven her. It is THEIR loss and THEIR call. She will serve her time and hopefully continue to help others to not make the mistakes she has.

    If the victim’s family is content with the sentencing, there shouldn’t be an issue here.

    • Al
      April 20, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Thank you.

    • Anna
      April 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      This young woman made a bad choice which resulted in a horrible conclusion. I think she may have only gotten 8 years based on her background and whether she had any prior problems with the law. The man who got 10 years may have had (I quote “May have”) had more than one and the reason he got more time. If a law abiding citizen makes ONE horrible error in judgment which results in a crime should they pay as much as a repeat offender? Hopefully, this will make people choose to not drink and drive in the future. 8 years is still 8 years and she will be a convicted felon. So, put away the pitch forks and let’s get the message out NO DRINKING and DRIVING Please.

    • April 23, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      thumbs up

  5. we care
    April 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    god forgives the family for give so should everyone else 8 years or one day if the family okay then the people should to thats my opion

  6. enuff 4 me
    April 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Prayers for all families involved. A sad day.

  7. mike
    April 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    only 8years wow

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