Witness testimony heard in fatal crash trial

File. Carolyn Moore, 33, is seen in court in January. 

A 35-year-old Bowling Green woman will again return to prison for her actions in a 2016 fatal crash which killed her then boyfriend and passenger John Etzinger, 28.

On Thursday, Carolyn Rose Moore again stood before Judge Alan Mayberry, who ordered her to spend five years in prison.

The original case was appealed and Moore has been on electronic GPS monitoring with restrictions since March 2o18. The 6th District Court of Appeals upheld most of the convictions against Moore last month, but did over turn parts of one count of involuntary manslaughter and one count of aggravated vehicular homicide.

The appellate court upheld her conviction of driving under a financial responsibility law suspension; her charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence, another count of involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide. were merged for the purpose of sentencing.

Moore’s attorney, Sarah Roller spoke for Moore on Thursday.

“I am very aware of how serious this case is. Judge, the woman that stands before you today is not the same one who was before you at the first sentencing,” Roller said. “That woman was using substances and had mental health issues.

“She is the primary provider for a minor child. She does have an understanding that she must live with her actions for the rest of her life. Since the birth of her son she is a different person. She is now remorseful of her actions and she has came to an awareness of her actions. She is not shirking her responsibility,” Roller said.

Both Moore and Roller told the judge that she was instructed by her attorney at the first sentencing not to speak. On Thursday, Moore addressed the court.

“I am not the same woman, I’m owning by actions and taking complete responsibility. I caused the death of a son, a father and my boyfriend,” Moore said. “Since I brought a baby into this world I realized I killed my boyfriend and I should have been completely honest. I was an addict and now I’m clean and sober and have been for 2 1/2 years. I’ve stayed at home.

“I took my boyfriend’s life and I am before you today as a clean and sober woman. I’m truly sorry for my actions.”

She acknowledged she had never apologized to Etzinger’s family. Though she did give a general apology, Moore did not turn to look at his family in the courtroom.

Beth Vitt, Etzinger’s mother then provided her “victim impact” statement. She tearfully spoke about her son’s children who will never see their father again. He has a now 12-year-old daughter.

“It’s been three years and she lost her best friend,” Vitt said.

His son was just 1 when Etzinger was killed and does not have any memories of his father, she said.

“No matter how long she is put away, when she gets out she will have her son, she will go on with her life. This is my personal hell I live in. She not only took my son, she took my faith from me. I’m never getting my son back,” Vitt said.

“She deserved 11 years (the maximum sentence possible for the charges). She will move on but I’ll never move on. His kids will never move on.”

Wood County prosecuting attorney Thomas Matuszak also asked the judge for 11 years and reiterated some of the things that came out in Moore’s trial including telling lies, shifting the blame and perjuring herself.

“She never demonstrated any true remorse. The remorse today is only about the fact that she has to be held accountable for her actions.

Mayberry then delivered virtually the same sentence he gave her in 2018 at the first sentence.

He first ordered $20,000 in a mandatory fine for the driving under suspension and 180 days and a lifetime license suspension for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Mayberry said that if she not done those things, there would not have been the accident that killed a man. He also noted a long list of previous actions for which she had been convicted, not only before the fatal crash and some crimes since that time.

Mayberry also reminded Moore of her actions in trying to stage the crash scene to make it look as if the deceased victim had been the driver. Bruising on his body and hers from the seat belts clearly indicated the actual positions at the time of the crash. She also claimed Etzinger hit her and later that he choked her.

“There was never any evidence of any injures,” Mayberry said.

“All that was taking you downhill until you were at the bottom and that bottom was a very gruesome scene. And he did die. And at that time you never showed any genuine remorse.”

He then ordered the five-year prison term with a mandatory five years of post-release control sanctions. The charge also carries a mandatory lifetime license suspension. She was again credited with the 24 days she was originally in custody, as well as the additional days she was in the Wood County Justice Center following the appellate decision prior to her sentencing.

Mayberry he was not punishing Moore’s son by sending her away but rather Moore her long history of problems.