Top

blog

Stories

 

Theresa Fortner, 49, Sentenced For Drunk-Driving Crash That Killed Baby Granddaughter

Categories: Crime

theresa-fortner.jpg
Theresa Fortner.
Theresa Fortner, a 49-year-old Arnold woman, was sentenced today to twelve-and-a-half years behind bars for the death of her baby granddaughter in a drunk-driving crash two years ago.

On July 4, 2011 at around 9 a.m., the woman put her 20-month-old granddaughter into her car and drove from Arnold to St. Louis -- even though a family member tried to stop her, authorities say.

Witnesses said the woman was driving so fast on I-55, that her "wheels on the driver's side were not touching the ground."

Eventually, she crashed into a street sign, a house, a tree and a fence and landed upside down.

The grandmother and the girl, Bella Houston, were rushed to the hospital, but the baby's wounds were too severe. A day later, Houston was pronounced dead after suffering blunt force trauma resulting in a skull fracture, brain swelling and brain bleeding.

The woman's blood alcohol level was .226, more than double the .08 legal limit. Police believe she was traveling at nearly 70 miles per hour when the crash happened and never even applied her brakes.

drunk-driving-crash-scene.jpg
via KSDK.com
Scene of the crash.

The circuit attorney's office had recommended that she be sentenced to twenty years in prison, but today she received a lighter sentence.

In April, she was found guilty of second-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree endangering the welfare of a child. She was sentenced to twelve-and-a-half years for the second-degree murder charge, three years for the armed criminal action and ten years for the endangerment charge. The sentences will run concurrently.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.


My Voice Nation Help
21 comments
miketatum369
miketatum369

I thought it was "Children pay for the PARENTS mistakes"... Not.... "Grandparents mistakes"??

Patrick Kryzsko
Patrick Kryzsko

If she was my family member, she would be safer there.

Dale Longwood
Dale Longwood

Smashed at 9 am? I wanna party with this wild woman!!!

Rachel Roach
Rachel Roach

You have no clue, ill inbox you stuff info later, you wont believe..

Lindsey Pandamonium
Lindsey Pandamonium

hope she gets her ass handed to her in jail.....they don't like baby killers in there

Rachel Roach
Rachel Roach

I know this family and the mother of the baby.

Thomas Doyle
Thomas Doyle

Agree with Judge,but would have preferred 20 years.

Joe Staat
Joe Staat

No number is going to fit the crime. People drink & drive far too often & worst of all w/o remorse. It's sad that it has to come to this for some people, while others skate through doing the same thing & are just lucky. Bottom line ... A child is gone, a family is destroyed, and their struggles are only beginning. Lets hope this woman spends her jail time wisely, forgives herself, & changes her ways. Possibly, sharing her experience with others when she is free & can help save lives instead of taking them.

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I am glad she is in jail. If she will disregard the safety of her own grandchild, think what she would do to any of us. She is a danger to society.

Benjamin A. Snow
Benjamin A. Snow

Not enough. Her drunk driving caused the life of a child.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

So why did she get 10 years and Leonard Little got probation? Oh yeah, that's right, Leonard Little has money and was a Pro football player.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...