ADA, Okla. – Jasmine Cotter, 19, killed her boyfriend after running him over with a car back in October of last year. She would plead no contest to first-degree manslaughter in February and on Tuesday, she found out her punishment. A 10-year deferred sentence.
After running over her boyfriend, investigators said Cotter, who was 18 at the time, told them she snapped during an argument with her 21-year-old boyfriend, Damian Ruston. She told a state trooper Ruston had spit in her face, flipped her off, then cursed at her before she intentionally turned him into a speed bump on the shoulder of a highway. Before being arrested, Cotter failed a sobriety test.
Because she took a “blind plea” a judge would decide her sentence and the prosecution would not object. Even though everyone agreed on the blind plea, Assistant District Attorney Jim Tollison hinted they had enough evidence to convict. “The facts of the case certainly met the statutory elements of a crime,” he said. Cotter was facing anywhere from four years to life in prison.
At the time of the accident, Cotter admitted she intentionally hit Ruston. But during sentencing, she changed her tune. “I loved Damian with all my heart and I would never do anything to hurt him. There’s not a second that goes by that I don’t think about him,” Cotter said as I made dismissive wanking motions. “I would never do this on purpose.”
Damian Ruston’s father, Anthony Ruston, said he has forgiven Cotter and even spoke on her behalf, pleading for leniency during her sentencing. “I forgave her the night it happened,” Anthony Ruston said. “They dated for three years and she loved him with all her heart and he loved her.” Judge Tom Landrith cut Cotter loose as long as she did not violate the conditions of the deferred sentence.
Those conditions include 500 hours of community service, and paying fees for court costs, jail and victim compensation. If she violates any of the terms, she could be looking at the original four years to life in prison. If she’s convicted of a misdemeanor within the next 10 years, she could get 10-months. All in all, Cotter got a pretty sweet deal. One some people are not too happy with.
“That’s murder. You know, to me, that was murder. She said, ‘I’m gonna run you over,’ and then done it and then gets to walk on it — it’s ridiculous,” Ruston’s friend, April Rawlings, said.