A Lauderdale County teenager who killed her friends in a car crash will get some leniency from the courts.
On Tuesday, a judge decided to allow the driver, Kate Boggus, to be tried as a juvenile instead of an adult.
It's been a little more than a year since the crash that killed three Wilson high students, Coby Hines, Tyler Nelson and Braden Turner. Kaylee McGee was seriously injured.
The judge granting Boggus youthful offender status was not the decision Kaylee McGee’s family was hoping for, but they say it won’t stop them from pursuing justice for the three boys who lost their lives.
“It’s been a very long year,” said Kaylee McGee.
After the crash in April of last year, she couldn’t speak for three days. More than a year later, she’s still recovering.
“I’m physically injured for the rest of my life, and I’m not out of the woods yet. I have a pretty strong feeling that I’m going to have to have a surgery that will leave me with a stationary neck. I won’t be able to even nod or shake my head,” said McGee.
She says that’s not the worst of it. Three of her best friends were killed in the crash.
“Coby, he could light up a room. Same for Tyler, his smile, and Braden, his laugh. I’m telling you," said McGee.
That’s why McGee says she and her parents were in court for a hearing that would decide whether or not Kate Boggus would be tried as an adult or receive youthful offender status.
In January, Boggus turned herself in and was indicted on three counts of manslaughter and one count of assault. McGee says, whatever the judge decides, she’s hoping this case will come as a message to all teen drivers.
“It proves that stuff like this can happen, and I believe it will truly affect how teenagers view driving. You’re responsible for who’s in your car. It only takes one time,” she said.
McGee's family says they were hoping to see Boggus tried as an adult, saying they want justice for Coby, Braden and Tyler. They say the pain of losing them will never go away.
“I’m here. Sometimes, it’s like, ‘Why?’ but God has a purpose for me, and I believe part of that is to live on their legacy, and that’s what I’m going to do,” said McGee.
A teacher stood up and spoke for Kate Boggus and why she should be tried as a juvenile. There were many students there to support her as well, but we weren’t able to speak to any of them on camera.
Boggus will be back in court for a hearing on May 17th. Her trial is scheduled for July 31st.