STILLWATER, Okla. (CN) – The driver accused of killing four people at Oklahoma State University’s homecoming parade in 2015 accepted a plea agreement Tuesday and was sentenced to life in state prison.
Payne County District Judge Stephen Kistler accepted Adacia Chambers’ no-contest plea moments before her murder trial was to begin. Chambers, 26, was dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit and dark-rimmed eyeglasses. She wiped tears from her eyes several times during the hearing.
The no-contest plea means Chambers’ admissions cannot be used against her in pending civil cases, Kistler said.
Chambers pleaded not guilty in May last year, to four counts of second-degree murder and 42 counts of assault and battery by means of force likely to produce death. She drove her gray Hyundai Elantra into a police motorcycle and a crowd of people near a crosswalk on Oct. 24, 2015.
Chambers said she accepted the plea to spare the victims and their families from more pain. She apologized and blamed her behavior that day on “severe psychosis.”
“If only I could change the past,” she said. “My prayers are always with the victims.”
Chambers will serve a life sentence for each of the four murder counts, concurrently. She will serve an additional 10 years for each assault charge concurrently. She will serve at least 45 years before being eligible for parole.
Chambers’ plea came one month after another judge ruled that she was competent to stand trial.
Defense witness Dr. Shawn Robinson testified at Tuesday’s hearing that Chambers was competent to accept the plea, based on his evaluations of her. Roberson also evaluated Chambers soon after her arrest and said she appears to have bipolar disorder.
Roberson’s earlier testimony and Chambers’ statements at the hearing are in line with statements made by her attorney, Tony Coleman, of Oklahoma City, that he would pursue an insanity defense at trial.
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