Christine Miller
2:52 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Former Sunset Hills police officer Miller sentenced to 8 years in prison for DUI crash

Updated at 5:00 p.m. March 10, 2011 with additional comments.

Former Sunset Hills police officer Christine Miller received her sentence today for the 2009 drunk driving accident that killed four people.

Miller was sentenced today after pleading guilty to all five counts against her in December 2010. She faced 4 counts for involuntary manslaughter and 1 for second-degree assault.

Altogether, she'll serve eight years in prison. Here's the breakdown of the sentence:

  • 8 years for involuntary manslaughter counts
  • 7 years for second-degree assault
  • Her sentences will be served concurrently, meaning Miller will serve 8 years in prison.

Miller was off-duty and had been drinking just before the crash in the early hours of March 21, 2009. She was driving the wrong way on Dougherty Ferry Road when she caused the accident.

Three of the victims were graduate students at Eastern Illinois University. The fourth was from Aurora, Ill.

A tearful Miller told the court that she had dedicated her life as a police officer to protecting others, only to see her off-duty actions cost four people their lives.

Update:

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch had recommended a much stiffer sentence of at least 20 years.

"I think it's a terribly inappropriate sentence," McCulloch said. "I can't come up with a scenario off the top of my head that would be more egregious than this one."

Nitesh Adusumilli was the lone survivor among the students; he says the crime warranted a much more severe punishment. 

"Being a police officer, she should have a higher standard of conduct.  Her decision has ruined four families."

Miller could be eligible for parole in just over six and a half years.