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February 15, 2010

Teen charged with killing friend in DUI crash

Posted: 04:30 PM ET

Palm Bay, FL –  Shortly after midnight on September 21, 2007, a rollover accident left one young woman dead and another critically injured.  Police say Jennifer Carty was driving her mother’s Hyundai when she lost control of her car and crashed into a drainage ditch.  Carty’s friend, Ravin Billington, was pronounced dead at the scene.    

Investigators say both women were intoxicated at the time of the crash. They insist Carty was driving and Billington was a passenger in the car.  But Carty’s defense attorneys say prosecutors cannot prove Carty, who does not remember the accident, was in fact behind the wheel.  Carty is charged with DUI manslaughter. If convicted, she faces 15 years in prison. The trial of FL v. Jennifer Carty starts Tuesday on In Session.

–Nancy Leung, In Session Field Producer

Filed under: Trials


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camille   February 15th, 2010 6:29 pm ET

so sad that a two young lives have to be lost to this horrible mistake. does the state of florida contemplate the fact that this was her friend she killed and no punishment could possibly be worse than living through the accident. she will never forget her friend and that night, isn't that a consequence of its own?


lucky   February 15th, 2010 7:51 pm ET

If you can't prove she was the driver how on earth can you charge her.?


Debbie   February 16th, 2010 10:14 am ET

RE: Jaycee Dugard kidnapping- Was Jaycee kidnapped in Nevada? If so why aren't the court proceedings being held in Nevada?


MY MY bout time   February 16th, 2010 10:35 am ET

Dude killed my brother in a DUI,and he gets 6 months,then gets out of ail promises my mom he won't drink and drive again BOOMB my mom signs his DLrelease he gets another DUI his 4th one at 18 my brothers death was drunk drivers 3rd DUI


Malinda West   February 16th, 2010 10:42 am ET

How is it possible that they cannot determine who was driving? Fingerprints on steering wheel, gear shifter, inside door panels?? I understand that the crash may have destroyed some of the evidence but how can all of the fingerprints suddenly be gone?


maria brown   February 16th, 2010 11:01 am ET

if they can't tell who was driver of the car the night of the accident, can't they use frabrac or hair samples from the seat of the car....and could they see if there were finger prints on the sterring wheel or dash board of the passenger side and hand prints on the inside and outside of the car...


Angela   February 16th, 2010 11:15 am ET

This is an accident that never should have happened. Regardless of who was driving they were all drunk and this goes to show that more should be done to highlight the dangers of underage drinking and the issues associated with it such as drunk driving. This was just an overall horrible tragedy that shows exactly why the drinking age should not be lowered and why people who serve minors should face stiffer penalties.


Diane Sower   February 16th, 2010 11:27 am ET

If they can prove she was indeed driving, then she probably should do some time. I think this is a case where rehabibility is good.


Terry R Smith   February 16th, 2010 12:09 pm ET

On June 9 2001 My Wife and I were going to Topeka Ks. to shop. We came up on a work site clearly mark as they were working on one of the brage. We were flage to a stop and were wateing to be past through when we were struck by a 3|4 ton pick up at over 70 miles an hour.knocking me and my wife off the road over 70 feet cruching the rear of our car and coming all the way to the rear of my seat braking my back.THE DRIVER WAS DRUNK. This was not his time. I inded up loseing my job an have spent more then you can belive. When I could I called the Lenden Prosaquater and was told he was given a 237.00 Fine and 54.00 court cost.Then sent to Colorado for even a nother offence.
I ask the Prosaquater why he said it was his first time in Kansas. Then laight and said we wernt the offiended party but the rosd dep.was
You tell me were the justed is. The justed is not even on this for Im disable and the drunk is still lose and has most likly done it agin in a nother State .


thomas finch   February 16th, 2010 12:12 pm ET

I believe they were both drunk, nethier were wearing seat belts, and if one wasn't driving the other would have been. both the victim and defendent are both guilty she should at least serve 6months -1 year for drinking and driving


nancy   February 16th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

What a waste. Once again the "feeling of invincibility reigns" and families are left behind to pick up the pieces due to the stupidity of those who chose to drink and drive. When are we as a society and parents going to realize that you can't fix "stupid?" Not to mention "I can't remember" being an adfequate defense. Now the tax payers of the state of Florida have to carry the "burden" of a senseless trial. The state cannot prove who the driver was because of an insuffficient investigation or lack of "obtainable" evidence. Personally, the ultimate punishment would have been the death of BOTH GIRLS AND THE PROSECUTION OF WHOMEVER SUPPLIED THE ALCOHOL. I vote to test them at the scene. If they test positive at the scene, let 'em die where they stop. As a resident of Florida, I demand that the families of both girls REIMBURSE THE TAXPAYERS for their child's own STUPIDITY as an example to others who want to be "stupid!"


Phillip Johnson   February 16th, 2010 12:56 pm ET

What does any of the rest matter if there is a seat belt law in Florida and they were not wearing them. Why is anyone liable?


JG Glass   February 16th, 2010 12:58 pm ET

Re: Teen DUI – until I worked in the Court system, I never had any idea how many people drove cars that were not theirs!!! You can't depend on whose car it is to identify the driver!


Jwana wickliff   February 16th, 2010 1:00 pm ET

The lesson here is alcoholism is always fatal in one form or another.whether its your family,finances,freedom or death. Its always fatal.


Mark Augustine   February 16th, 2010 1:19 pm ET

How can these kids say that they are 100% sure who drove who's car every other night, but not the night of the accident?
Just out of respect for the victims mother. They should just say who was driving. I do not think they are being truthful.

Thanks


terryo   February 16th, 2010 1:19 pm ET

Guilty by the courts or not – Jennifer will live the rest of her life in her own inescapable prison of guilt. Yes, they were both drinking, but her actions to try and pass 2 cars grossly negligent and reckless.


Toya in Florida   February 16th, 2010 1:21 pm ET

I feel Jennifer Carty should not be charged in this case because the prosecutors can't prove she was the driver of the vehicle. I also feel the only reason the prosecutors are even trying this case is because they were being pressured by the victim's family. Both individuals were intoxicated. I don't feel the family will receive closure by punishing this teenager because their daughter was not sober and she could have been the driver in this tragic accident and just because it was Jennifer Carty's mother car doesn't prove she was the driver the reason I say this is because when my bestfriend and I go to parties she drives the majority of the time and it's my car. I feel this is a tragedy for both families and instead the Billington's should be using this time to promote awareness about the consequences of drinking and driving among young teenage drivers and not trying to punish someone who could have died as well in the accident because their daughter was also intoxicated at the time so that's something they need to consider. My heart goes out to both families in this tragedy and I pray and hope that one day they may all find closure and peace.


Unknown   February 16th, 2010 1:37 pm ET

WOW! I cant believe and it sems to me that they are making excuses for this young girl like: she shouldnt be guilty she didnt mean to klll her friend ok so what about the Omar Long's case he didnt mean to leave his child in the car either but he was found guilty and in my opinion it was from his past and the judge said it herself in so many words. These teens were well aware of what they were doing drinking under age for one which they shouldn't be doing and on top of that driving while drinking NO EXCUSES they need to be punished for their actions if se is foung not guilty because it was an accident so should have Omar Long. I think that these teens need to own up to their responsibilty drink drive someone gets hurt you pay I just don't feel that there should be any excuses for this....but I can guarantee she will be a free person Oar just wasn't that lucky as she will be and thats a shame because no lesson will be learned for this young kids that drinking and driving and thinking that its COOL really appualing


Tudy   February 16th, 2010 1:38 pm ET

I truly believe it was an accident, It's a shame that people drive when they're are drunk...She didn't expect her friend to die, she's probably thankful that she didn't die, now she's gonna be forever sad about her friend, and now because of all this, she'll never drink and drive again..Thank goodness!!!


crystal ellison   February 16th, 2010 1:49 pm ET

Too bad too sad she need 2 b punished 2 tha fulliest extense of tha Law!! no symahy 4 her wat so EVA


judy   February 16th, 2010 1:53 pm ET

I think someone here is not telling the truth about knowing who was driving this car. I think the Carty girl knows who was driving. Also I think this was definitely a criminal act because I think the driver of this car was acting carelessly and possible trying to be funny when flying passed the boys' vehicles. My opinion is that the Carty girl was driving.


jersey425   February 16th, 2010 1:56 pm ET

If these girls were that intoxicated, and were hanging out with the boys, going "Mudding", back and forth to the BP and other places, why then did no one notice how drunk they were? They had to be consuming this alcohol somwhere. There's just too many things that don't add up in this horrific story.


Samantha   February 16th, 2010 1:58 pm ET

I don't think she should get any type of punishment, there's no way of tellin who was drivin, just because what medical exminer said, CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED!


Karen Bell   February 16th, 2010 2:00 pm ET

A legal expert, I am not. However, I can't help but feel that the M.E.'s testimony, under direct by the prosecution, significantly assisted the defense a few minutes ago.

ME Kaiser seemed to open up that proverbial Pandor'as box of reasonable doubt when he testified to the fact that he could not predict with certainty if Carty was driving or not. At first I thought ME Kaiser was under CROSS by prosecution with thise type of testimony!

Prosecution seems to be lacking much... of everything. Forensics, credibility all around.


shane ryall   February 16th, 2010 2:00 pm ET

I think not guilty I think she learned her lesson her best friend is died that night will run over and over in her head and I have a good feeling she will never drink again


Heather Bartlett   February 16th, 2010 2:02 pm ET

Jennifer was responsible for her mom's car. We know both of them had an alcohol level above the legal limit. Even if Ravin was drving,Jennifer let her drive it. She should have called someone to pick her up knowing they had been drinking. It shouldnt matter who was drving. She made the choice to leave in that car after drinking. Even though she has to live w this her whole life,she ought to spend a little time in jail to think about it and then have to go around and talk to other teens of what can happend doing this. I really think that she could save that jail time by telling who bought the alcohol. They are the real ones resoponsible for helping with this death. If they wont tell put them all in jail. If this whole justice system would really come down on people, we might cut some of this craziness down and cut down the prison popluation. If you kill someone,kill them so we dont have to waist our money feeding them. I'm sick of these light punishments. The harder the punishment the less likely we might have kids and people would be to do things.


C   February 16th, 2010 2:03 pm ET

No this is ridiculous. This girl lost THREE of her friends the yr before and she was SOOOO upset at the funeral crying and carryong on. And then a yr later she is drinking and driving and kills her friend. Im tired of hearing people say that she will have to live the rest of her life with the death of her friend. Before this accident she had 3 friends die and that obviously didn't affect her. I knew both of these girls and as tragic as it is she deserves the punishment she is given. She needs to do some time to learn her lesson because if she gets off BELIEVE me, I will see her at a party drinkin it up and probably getting into a car and driving off at the end of the night.


Unknown   February 16th, 2010 2:05 pm ET

I know the verdict and all I can say is UNBELIEVABLE.............................. UNBELIEVABLE! This justice system is NOT FAIR at all. I turned my tv to something else I dont even want to watch it anymore where is the justice system people keep sayn she didnt mean it and it was an accident so lets feel sorry for this teen that knows that she is not suppose to drink and dive prior to them doing so AND THEY ARE UNDER AGED so what about Omar he didn't meant to leave his baby and he usually doesnt even take her when he takes the mom and in my opinion I dont think that he knew seh was their in the car and he was partying the night before their accident happen while they were drinking in the moment I am just appauld like I said before yea Omar had a past but thats what he was and is getting punished for like the judge said herself, not for the death of his baby and other reason and must I say why...because of her actions her friend is not her on earth anymore but nothing is done about it and you think she will learn her lesson yea momentarly I wont be surprised to see her back on here years later


M. Steed   February 16th, 2010 2:07 pm ET

This is a tragic no fault accident. How many times have a carload of drunken teens decided amongst themselves who is the best one to drive a car. I believe the police did not do any forensics because the driver was unknown at the scene & believed themselves that it would not be a case for criminal charges.


Unknown   February 16th, 2010 2:11 pm ET

I AGREE WITH Heather B, C, Crystal E and some others givingthese kids a slap onthe wrist is what they doing such ashame!!


FireOfGod   February 16th, 2010 2:11 pm ET

our court system has become a mockery of gods word and what this land was founded on , lets hear the crys of gods people in dispare and reach out our hands to help lift them up . judgements belongs to god , let go and let god heal this broken land .lets pray for these young souls to be enlightened by god .for the one that has gone home she is safe in the arms of jesus . to the one that was left behind lets litf her up to the lord for she needs our help too .WWJD in this situation ? . what are we supposed to do ? pionting fingers only leaves the 3 looking back at you . and accomplishes nothing . we are to forgive as the lord forgave us .and if we can`t forgive others then our sins can`t be forgiven ither . God Bless the familys in this matter lord you know there needs long before we asked it lord . send your healing holy ghost fire and consume all that is not of you lord . until only you remaine in jesus name amen .


Carrie   February 16th, 2010 2:14 pm ET

I had just turned into watching the trial today. I have been a juror before and know a lot about criminal justice. There seems to me missing information, what was her blood alcoholic content was when she was first seen at the hospital. And more I watch there is more to the story that can't be proven. With missing information everything seems to be all circumstantial evidence. I feel the charges should be vehicular homicide because of the lack of information


CR Miiller   February 16th, 2010 2:15 pm ET

How they let that ME testify as somewhat of an expert....on what side of the vehicle the victim was on when she was thrown from a rolling vehicle is ridiculous...as ridiculous as what it would have been if that girl that pulled the key from her bra in the Omar Brown case would have been allow to testify.

I could just see some jurors weighing that testimony with weight when it absolutely should not be.


Jose nj   February 16th, 2010 2:15 pm ET

If the prosecure can't found who was driving the car that night how ms carty can be guilty of something no one know this was an a accident she is not guilty


Rusty Powell   February 16th, 2010 2:15 pm ET

When are people going to learn that you MUST use your seatbelt when operating or riding in a motor vehicle? If either Ravin or Jenn were too intoxicated to realize the danger they were in then maybe the focus should be on the alcohol.


Heather Bartlett   February 16th, 2010 2:18 pm ET

Tudy this doesnt mean she wont drink and drive again, if anything the chances she will drink more is very likley cause of all the pain she is in. Don't let that fule you. There are nurmous ppl that do drink and drive again and get DUI'S after they have killed someone. The pain is so bad that it is hard for them to deal with and they are likely to keep drinking to try to numb the pain. That's why treatment would be the best thing for her and I think the number one thing she should have to do is talk to other teens. From ages 12 up. Kids start drinking younger than ppl think.


Pamela   February 16th, 2010 2:19 pm ET

Ravin was a passenger in this car NOT THE DRIVER. Ever play "Crack the Whip"? The car was sliding on a diagonal across Babcock with the driver's side front facing NW. This puts the driver @ the inner/bottom point of the car when it began flipping nose down, trunk in the air, going counter clockwise. Ravin would have been on the east side of the car, slightly north of Jennifer's position. This puts Ravin was the farthest away from the apex & was therefore flung like being shot from a catapult, travelling the greater distance. Jennifer, the driver, wasn't thrown out until the car made at least one complete rotation. Being close to the ground with the spin happening toward her, she landed nearer to the car's final resting spot. It's a matter of simple physics.


diane edwards   February 16th, 2010 2:19 pm ET

This is a horrific no win case for either family. I wondered why the prosecution couldnt determine who was driving either but apparently the girls were tossed around enough in the car that they cannot say for sure who was behind the wheel. Both girls fingerprints are all over the car. I can so identify with the pain of the families. My oldest brother was killed by a drunk driver. I also agree with jersey...they left the party drunk. While it was their responsibility not to be drinking and definitely not driving why didnt someone at the party take the keys? A friend of my 20 year old son could have been right where these girls are but the friends took the keys from him..this time. What about next time? Alcohol is so easy for these kids to get these days. You can preach, beg, plead, take things from them, etc., but the fact is they think they are invincible and it wont happen to them. Even if this young girl is acquitted she will live with this nightmare the rest of her life. I dont know if she truly remembers or not if she was driving. If she was that plastered probably not. My 20 year old son had to get the scare of his life for him to quit....my heart goes out to both families.


Lisa   February 16th, 2010 2:21 pm ET

The prosecution witness as far as the injurys this girl sustained being on the right side means she was a passenger, is very incorrect. I rolled my car drunk when I was 18 thank God I was alone, However I sustained permanent brachio plexus nerve damage to my right arm, shattered the right side of my jaw as well as lacerations mostly to the right side. They assume with the result of my car I flew out the drivers window but nothing is for sure other than my right side sustained most of the injuries and I WAS DRIVING!!
As tragic as this is they were both intoxicated either way one was going to drive they both made the wrong decision unfortunately one lost her life and very well may be the driver.


Karen Bell   February 16th, 2010 2:25 pm ET

Why is the ME testifying to Ravin not having typical seat belt marks on her body when it had appeared at the scene, that neither girl was likely NOT wearing belts???


Teresa Barber   February 16th, 2010 2:25 pm ET

Where is Ravin's responsibility in all this? After all she was not totally innocent in this accident. She had been drinking also. What parent in their right mind lets an underage teen stay out after midnight on a school night? She needs to take some responsibility tooas the parent. I know she is hurting and she has suffered a great loss, but it is not all Jennifer's fault. This girl will have scars on her for the rest of her life in knowing her best friend was killed because of their drinking.
Was she driving the car? Who knows. Maybe she was, but that still does not put the blame all on her. They both knew better than to drink and drive.


robert   February 16th, 2010 2:27 pm ET

In the case of teen charged with dui manslaughter. The medical examiner they have on the bench his testimony should be thrown out as inadmissable. The injuries sustained could have happened anywhere outside of the vehicle because of the ejection. The prosectuing attorneys should pursue this avenue. the defense has no legal footing on this issue because of that reason. If the findings are that she was driving and was ejected will be overuled and deemed inadmissable in court. Maybe in the appeals they cam argue it but not in this trial


a   February 16th, 2010 2:31 pm ET

so sad. seems like everytime this happens, it's not the driver who is injured or killed, but passengers or those in another vehicle. carty clearly didn't get a wake up call when she lost other friends the same way – what will wake her up then? nothing in my opinion. and those that said friends need to speak up are right – don't let friends leave parties or bars when they are wasted – try your best to get the keys, get them a taxi, or give them a ride. if others would acknowledge that it's not cool to drink and drive, or remind people of the consequences, this could help – especially with youngins who feel invincible. i did the same thing as a teen, and i got lucky – no accidents and none of my friends were ever hurt. but it seems to be happening more and more. in michigan we had some girls die because they were huffing nitrous while driving and blacked out. do this stuff at home – not in a car – come on people!!!


robert   February 16th, 2010 2:33 pm ET

If i were the prosecuting attorney I would drop the charges down to involuntary manslaughter and try for a lighter sentence as they were both responsible no matter who was driving the car. Tragic yes but she will have to live with her death for the rest of her life no matter the outcome. It was a tragic mistake on both their parts but to sentence this teen to jail would do nothing but destroy her for the rest of her life if it doesn't already just from the death of her best friend. I promise you she will never drink in that manner again or put herself in that situation again. It is a shame that she had to learn a life lesson at the death of a friend but she is changed for the rest of her life no matter what. She must pay for her part in the bad decision that night but to sentence her to 15 years in jail for a bad decision on both their parts is wrong in my opinion.


Beth Singer   February 16th, 2010 2:41 pm ET

I really believe that someone needs to be punished for this. They both are at fault for allowing each other to drink and drive. Since they say they don"t know who was driving which I find hard to believe with todays technollagy. If we let this go with a slap on the wrist what is it saying to all those others that we know are doing this right now all over America and innocent adults and children are being critically injured or killed. We all need to push for harsher laws and punishment for those who choose to drink and drive or even get into or allow someone else to drive drunk. They both were drinking and they allowed each other to get into that car and drive they both are at fault and it saddens me to think that this young girl lost her life because they both made a stupid choice. The only good thing that could come from this is that maybe someone else will hear about this and choose to make a change in their lives or the lives of someone they love so that lives can be saved. My heart goes out to all of you who have been hurt or lost someone they love because someone else got selfish and chose to drink and drive we all need to stress to our loved ones know matter what age that drinking and driving is unacceptable and they will be punished....


robert   February 16th, 2010 2:44 pm ET

I was charged with involuntary manslaughter and i was not driving but because we both were ejected from the car the evidence we had was thrown out. I had the seatbelt marks across my right ear and chest: inadmissable could have happened anywhere outside of the car. She had her ribs broke in a semicircle, which is plainly the steering wheel: inadmissable in court could have happened anywhere outside the car. there were numerous other things that showed she was the driver and I was the passenger but none of it was allowed due to the fact that we both were ejected from the vehicle. Also, It didn't get overturned in the appeals process and I turned myself in to do my time. I got convited of involuntary manslaughter and I took responisblilty for my poor decision knowing we both had been drinking and it was my car she was driving so i went to jail for 120 days 800 hours community service 2 years probation which is what I believe this teen should get in this trial.
I think about her death till this day and it has been 19 years and not a day goes by that it doesn't enter into my mind and what her family has to go through each year without her. That is why I said she will change her life around from this bad decision that night, I did.


Laurie C.   February 16th, 2010 2:45 pm ET

It is a tragic loss for both families. Losing a child is an experience that no parent should ever have to experience. But through tragedy we muat always find a positive outcome to make it better for others. Dringking and Driving is not acceptable no matter what age, race or religion. Not only has one child lost a life but another suffers with injuries as well as a lose of a friend and the constant reminding of this tragic accident. Although I already know the verdict.......... Facts are the facts.... No one truly wins in this situation. Jail would not rehabilitate or support anyone. Lessons are learned from mistakes no matter how big or small they are. For the Carty family my heart goes out to all of you and I only hope that the healing process can begin for Jen to find a positive outcome in her future.


Pricia   February 16th, 2010 2:48 pm ET

According to testimony given by Tyler Richmond, they weretogether constantly at approximately 730 pm. The accident occurred approximately 5 hours later...at approximately in the early morning hours both girls BAC was twice the legal limit...Tyler and Gary know about the drinking and who was driving...someone needs to squeeze those two young men. The truth is in them.


sue parshall   February 16th, 2010 2:49 pm ET

i enjoy the show! i have a comment and question. ok wouldnt this be a prime situation to charge the parents somehow,due to the child had the vehicle but law doesnt know who was driving? also i had an accident i also was the right side front passenger and recieved the exact same injuries as the young woman whom sadly passed away in this accident.i had severe contusion to my right hip my right shoulder and .how interesting.i hope theres something good that comes of this sad story.thank you for your great coverage.i dont get anything done while your on,but i know whats happening on in session,lol thanks and god bless all involved.


deedee   February 16th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

There has to be jail time because this is only way you're going to impact people who drink and drive.


len anderson   February 16th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

No witnesses as to who was driving?
No case!


Kathie   February 16th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

Here is another case that is a waste of taxpayers money!!!! There is no proof that the defendant was driving the car...based on the right side injuries of the deceased it appears as if she was the passenger and the defendant was driving. However, with both of them ejected from the car there is reasonable doubt all over the place...the defendant may or may not remember the accident...she could be lying...but there is one true thing...the defendant knows the truth and will live with it forever.


Kathie   February 16th, 2010 2:52 pm ET

And another thing...one girl was driving and one was the passenger...they were both highly intoxicated...they voluntarily got into the car...so does it even matter who was driving...aren't they equally responsible???


Denise   February 16th, 2010 2:56 pm ET

What was the height of both girls? The driver seat is pushed forward, could this be an indication of who was driving. If Jennifer is quite a bit shorter than Ravin than this could tell she was driving or if Ravin was driving and she was taller than the seat would be pushed back. It is something to consider.


Tiffany   February 16th, 2010 3:10 pm ET

If Jennifer had been the one killed that night, would it be the same case as now, not knowing who was driving the vehicle? Would they be trying to send Ravin to prision for DUI manslaughter? Think about it, no one will ever know who was driving the night of the accident. But to me in some ways I believe there is some stuff not being said. When they were leaving from the gas station, Im sure the girls got in the vehicle before the boys left. So I believe they know who got into the driver seat. You woudln't think they would just keep standing there after the boys leave. It just doesn't make any sense. I just feel terribly sorry for both family's involved in this terrible accident. But I don't think the family of Ravin should be pointing fingers because they both were drunk and knew what could happen getting into a vehicle drunk and driving. They both made the decision to get into a vehicle without a sober driver. You can't just blame one of them. Im sure Jennifer wishes she would have died too because of living with the pain that she has went through. Yeah, I agree with some of you, she needs to go around and let kids know drinking and driving is dangerous and that it can take lives. I guess we just have to wait and see the verdict.


jamison   February 16th, 2010 3:12 pm ET

I often drove my friends cars while underage because i normally didn't drink


Pam   February 16th, 2010 3:12 pm ET

See that the girls decide to go get drunk and know that it could make them passout. It in this case to my opinion wouldn't matter who was driving the car. They are baseing it on the fact that Carla is the owner of the car. With that fact of the speeding of the car before the wreck afterwards. Is all it needed I think for the the jury to come up with a verdict. But I may be wrong on this. Just a opinion.


Shirley Kerrigan   February 16th, 2010 3:16 pm ET

I also agree that this case cannot be proven that the surviving girl drove the car. It seems from the medical examiners rulings that he feels the deceased girl was on the passenger side but you can't really prove that.
The surviving girl will have to live with this until she forgives herself. She seems ready to drive responsibly. Nothing will help the deceased girl's loved ones. The pain is unbearable.
It is just a terrible situation and no winners.


Donna   February 16th, 2010 3:17 pm ET

I feel very strongly that if a person chooses to get in a car with a driver that has been drinking, then that person is responsible with putting their own life at risk, not the driver of the vehicle.


Karen   February 16th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

Miss Carty's statement included, "did not choose to wear seatbelts." Doesn't this contradict her assertion that she does not recall "that night?"


Anderson Alexander   February 16th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

I just think its funny that she remembers they both put their seat belts on, but nothing else regarding the accident.


Ann Schultz   February 16th, 2010 3:18 pm ET

If Jennifer was that intoxicated she may have experienced alcoholic amensia. She would, indeed, remember nothing. She could still drive/talk without a memory of anything. I would be interested in finding out where all the alcohol came from to get these 2 young ladies that intoxicated.
Ann


MELVIN   February 16th, 2010 3:19 pm ET

I believe Jennifer Carty should still be held accountable regardless of whether she was driving or not. If she didnt drive that night, she still let a intoxicated person behind the wheel.


JG Glass   February 16th, 2010 3:20 pm ET

No drunk thinks they are drunk. No drunk realizes that drink impairs their judgement, and no punishment will convince then of either of those facts. Especially if they cannot remember the accident which is often the case.


CurtisB   February 16th, 2010 3:20 pm ET

Its very easy to say "I don't remember". If the prosecution asked the right questions and walked thru the eenings events, I doubt that some memory would return. Even in an intoxicated state some memory sould return, given the right questions were asked.


Jamie   February 16th, 2010 3:21 pm ET

Assuming she's guilty and the prosecution has strong evidence to conclude she was driving... Ms. Carty needs to be an adult and "man up" to the charges. If she cared at all about her friend, she would take responsibility for her actions, accept a plea deal, and give the family some kind of closure.


Omayra   February 16th, 2010 3:21 pm ET

what happen was sad ,but it also sad that they are both responsable for drinking ..it could have been the other way around or even an other inocent persons life ...I think she sould face what harm was done ...they know what outcome comes from dui this is not something that happens once it happens to offten but people think it wont happen to them ....learn from your mistakes


Rick   February 16th, 2010 3:22 pm ET

My personal opinion is that Ms. Carty was probably driving the car but the fact of the matter is that two young girls made a number of bad decisions and placing Ms. Carty in prison won't help anyone. If they can't prove for a fact who was driving then she can't be found guilty.


Pam   February 16th, 2010 3:23 pm ET

I mean they are Carty was the one charge b/c she own the car.Sorry about the misprint on the name earlier.


jolie shoemaker   February 16th, 2010 3:24 pm ET

does it matter either way both girls have lost thier life. i agree they were both drunk either one could of had this wreck. should this girl serve 10-12 years in prision she is already in her own by not remembering and the loss of her best friend. How much punishment should we give a teenager who did not premeditate her friends death.


mikka   February 16th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

dont drive drunk!point!


arnette ferguson   February 16th, 2010 3:26 pm ET

hi;,maybe she can't remember what happened that night,however she should be facing some serious charges,because she is old enough to know not to get behind the wheel of a vehicle knowing that she or her friend was drunk .she should be found not guilty ,but she still do some sought of community service because she needs to be fhought a lesson about the seriousness of driving drunk or getting in a car with someone knowing that they are well over the legal limit.she should face some consequences.


pat henry   February 16th, 2010 3:27 pm ET

The question I would like to ask is, Why did raven like to drive other peoples cars? was she a drivers driver who just like driving. To me this would show a pattern.

At the outset of the program it was suggested that raven's mom pushed for the prosecution, this is a very good example of why we need to keep emotions in check and let cooler head prevent.


cindy   February 16th, 2010 3:27 pm ET

I am sorry for the horrific tradgedy that took place on that eveing, but I do believe that the defendant is telling the truth in not remembering that horrific evening, I can personally attest to drunken blackouts because my father (god rest his sole in peace) had a history of drinking and driving, and then couldn,t remember anything that was going with himself afterwards. I feel Carty is definitely suffering by losing her best friend she will live with that the rest of her life, I hope she seeks the much needed therapy to go on with her life.


D   February 16th, 2010 3:27 pm ET

Regarding the timeline, as was testified, all four of these kids were together for the entire evening meeting up at Ravin's mother's house. So the way I see it, they must have gotten the alcohol from Ravin's mother's house because the boys testified they weren't driking.


Josh hooper   February 16th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

I think that jinnfer was driven but i think she really cant remeber but it was just kids bein stuped lots ok people drink and drive and dont get hurt and that was how thay seen it but thangs can change at any time and thats what happend to tham thay was just tryin to have fun and thangs went all rong and its done and thair ant any thang thay can do to bring her back now people need to c this itcan make kids change thair mind about drinkin and driven.


Karen Allen   February 16th, 2010 3:28 pm ET

I am an avid watcher of In Session, and although I am not an expert, I do have a very stront opinion about this case. I believe that if both girls decided to drink underage, they were both at fault from the very start. Regardless of who was driving the car, they were both impared, and it can only make me wonder if it really matters who was driving? I have great compassion for the family of Ravin, I can't help but to wonder if the shoe was on the other foot, what would be going on right now?


Travis   February 16th, 2010 3:29 pm ET

A jail sentence would do no good in this case. The defendent will have to live with the loss of her friend for the rest of her life.


Sandy   February 16th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

They both made the decision to drink. They both made the decision to climb in that car. They both made the decision to not buckle their seat belts. They are both guilty-no matter who was driving or who died. No prison time. Public service talking to teens about drinking, telling their story over and over and over, showing pictures and explaining the consequences over and over for 20 years, at her expense. THATS JUSTICE!!!!!


sam   February 16th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

First whoever said that it was Jennifer's mothers car so even if Ravin was driving, it would be Jennifer's fault...? that is just unreal. They were 17 years old, Jennifer wasn't Ravin's babysitter. She wasn't the only one that was able to make choices that night for them.
I also can't believe that she is even getting charged with manslaughter, and that Ravin's family was pushing for it? Wow. They are just looking for someone else to blame. Get real. Someone said something similar that they are both guilty. Personally I believe, and sadly if it wasn't Ravin, it would had been Jennifer.


joe c   February 16th, 2010 3:37 pm ET

The girls comited no crime the only crime here is the people that gave alcohol to them.

joe.c
new jersey


mark   February 16th, 2010 3:38 pm ET

I believe jennifer was driving that night and remembers exactly what happened. if she doesn't remember then how in her statement did she remember she and ravin were not wearing their seat belts. also it appears like ravin was found further back from where the vehicle ended up. the vehicle rolled over twice and appears as if most of the damage was to the front drivers side and in my opinion which only a guess not a professional opinion the drivers side took the first hit off the roadway therefor the passenger would be the first one ejected and the second roll the driver would be the second one and the closest to the vehicle. how close was jennifer to the car?


mikka   February 16th, 2010 3:42 pm ET

robert,i dont agree with you!she killed somebody ,because she was drunk!


Blessed   February 16th, 2010 3:45 pm ET

My son was involved in a similiar accident with a friend. Both had been drinking. Neither one usually wore a seatbelt, but for reasons unknown except for divine intervention, they both put on their seat belts shortly before the crash. My son was critically injured and his friend was bang up pretty bad, but both lived. To this day my son does not remember the accident but does recall events leading up to the accident. He knows he was the driver and remembers putting on his seatbelt at a McDonalds shortly before the wreck.


l. deyo   February 16th, 2010 3:51 pm ET

I had no opinion as to who was driving until j.carty's public statement about what happened was post & read on "in session" moments ago. My truth alarm started gonging. Let's hope she was legally coached.
Was Ravin ever seen driving Jennifers' car while Jen rode as a passenger in her own car?


Janet   February 16th, 2010 3:54 pm ET

What has happened is a truly tragic accident. My question is where were the parents of these children. One was 17 and the other 18. I have raised one daughter and no, she was not allowed to borrow my car. Her curfew on the weekends was 11:00 and I had to know where she was going and why she had to be out that late. She was never allowed to "hang out" anywhere because that is when teens get in trouble.

I think that the parents should be on trial for being irresponsible and not making sure their children were safe.

I feel for Jennifer because she has to live the rest of her life with this and that will be punishment enough. Children make bad judgements and that is why they have parents – to make sure they are safe.


Jean   February 16th, 2010 3:57 pm ET

ravens boyfriend testified that he didnt see a car till the car pasted him and neither boy testified to the fact that the car overturned several times did the car have its lights on if it did then they would have seen the headlights coming behind them and also be able to see the tail lights they are red wouldn't the boys have seen these lights tumbling?


Jose M. Diaz   February 16th, 2010 3:59 pm ET

Hi, first let me congratulate you on a wonderful & informative program, my newest favorite show.
Im a lay person when it comes to matters of law but I have had some exposure to it. I havent seen much of this case so my comments are from the little I have gathered so far.

I have the tendency to believe Ms. Carty's statement because if she were to lie about it, she would flat out deny driving the car instead of saying she doesnt remember. I am going on the presumption that both girls were expelled from the car and this has created the uncertainty of who was driving. However, if in fact they were both expelled, and considering that both sustained extensive injuries; isn't it reasonable to assume that blood or blood traces would be found from both girls in the area were they were sitting at or at the exit point? Then it should be a relatively simple task to perform a blood typing or dna examination that would determine their location on the car upon impact? I believe that the prosecution will fail to get a conviction just by the fact that unless they perform some scientific testing or present a wittness that Ms. Carty was actually driving, they will fail in establishing that Ms. Carty was driving. At best, they will be only able to speculate on this fact, which will establish reasonable doubt. The poor girl has suffered enough and I seriously doubt that she will ever again get behind the wheel of any car after consuming just one drink. My heart goes out for both families on this, a tragic accident due to poor judgement on part of BOTH girls.


Tiffany   February 16th, 2010 4:00 pm ET

i agree how can they charge her if they dont have proof that she in deed was the one behind the wheel at the time of the accident..


Tasha Casias   February 16th, 2010 4:02 pm ET

My heart goes out to both families, they were friends out having a good time and a heart breaking accident has wounded both families. I would be devistated if I lost either one of my daughters to drinking and driving. The bottom line for me is if my daughter was the victim I would want Justice....and Im sure if the roles were reversed and my daughter killed someone by accident or not they would want Justice for their son/daughter too!


Lindsey   February 16th, 2010 4:02 pm ET

ravin billington was one of my BEST friends. I know that ravin would not have been driving the vehical at the time. she was always the rider in the car. Jen deserves prison time. you know the risk your taking by drive under the influence, and killing your friend in an accident because of this, you deserve the time in prison.
RIP MY BEAUTIFUL ANGEL! I LOVE YOU


tonie   February 16th, 2010 4:03 pm ET

its sad that the young lady died but how can they charge her if they dont know if she was driving. they should be able to charge her if they dont know if she was driving


max   February 16th, 2010 4:05 pm ET

I just tuned in to this case but what i have heard and am always amazed is the absents of the injuries to carthy. if a person is behind the wheel and with the violent motions of a car flipping over and over, I would think there would be a presents of more damage to the lower body,by the steering wheel, and possible entanglement of the legs feet with the brake pedal more so than with a passenger. As for who was driving, I can't draw a clear conclusion of guilt, only that the jury look at the equal responsibility of both girls. Carty and Billington where guilty . Billington may she rest in peace, it is over, but Carty has to live on with this horrible tragedy. If she truly does not remember that night maybe one day she will and what a horrible revelation to live.


marcos   February 16th, 2010 4:06 pm ET

I was in an accident a few years back and when my friend hit a car from behind at a stop light. When we went to see if the driver was ok a person got up from the passenger side of the car. We then realized that this was the driver and he was somehow knocked completely onto the passenger side of the car even thought we hit him directly from behind. So I know that in an accident a person not wearing a seatbelt can end up anywhere in or out of the car.


Sarah   February 16th, 2010 4:07 pm ET

Regardless of what happens, she is going to live the rest of her life full of guilt and shame. We can only hope that she learns from this, and never gets in a car drunk again. It really is a waste of life, people need to start thinking before acting, because you never know who's life you are going to change forever.


Crystal   February 16th, 2010 4:07 pm ET

I believe that Tyler and the others are not telling the truth! How can everybody remember everything that happened that night EXCEPT for WHO WAS DRIVING???? Come on now, lets be realistic!!! They are just trying to protect Jennifer from going to jail!!!


Will   February 16th, 2010 4:09 pm ET

This case is sad we all know that but these two girls made the choice of driving that night they had a choice ans we know what the out come of that choice was.
On this case its very simple as who was driving yes I said its very simple Look at the drivers seat and look at the passengers seat .
drivers seat is closer to the stiring wheel . Of the two girls which one of them is the shorter of the two is your driver.


Karen Allen   February 16th, 2010 4:09 pm ET

Another thought: Since these girls were such good friends, and so very close, I wonder if Ravin would want to look down from heaven and see her best friend being tortured like this, knowing that it very easily could've been the other way, Ravin driving, and Jennifer in the passenger's seat. And so far I've seen nothing in this trial stating that it wasn't that way anyhow. They should just call it what it was: a stupid mistake and a tragic accident & do their best to get on with their lives while trynt to remember the good times the girls had together before this tragedy happened.


sal   February 16th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

i see in the video at the bp carty took her shoes off at the door there was a steady none lose of balance.she walked through the store numerous times showing no signs of being over the top from alcohol.So now you say inside of an hour she managed to draw a complete blank on any of the events that happened that evening. I personally find that hard to believe, but who am I to say they are both wrong for poor judgement. I believe they no more then you do, but whatever the outcome some people could live with it, shame on them. my deepest regrets for the ravin family


D   February 16th, 2010 4:10 pm ET

Regarding the timeline, as was testified, all four of these kids were together for the entire evening meeting up at Ravin's mother's house. So the way I see it, they must have gotten the alcohol from Ravin's mother's house because the boys testified they weren't driking.


Speaker of truth   February 16th, 2010 4:14 pm ET

This is a tragedy and my heart goes out to all that are involved. It seems likely that Jennifer was driving but because of the shotty investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol it cannot be determined for sure. The only reason this case went to trial is because the family of Ravin demanded it. They should be ashamed of themselves and start taking responsibility for their role in the tragedy. It was they who allowed their 17 year old daughter to be out after midnight on a Thursday night. It was they who apparently didn't teach their daughter about the importance of wearing a seat belt. Ravin was with her best friend and made the decision to drink, to not wear a seatbelt and to either get into the car with someone who was drinking or drive the car after drinking. The result was tragic. Her family needs to acknowledge those facts, and stop trying to get "justice". They need to accept their daughter's and their own responsibility for the tragic events. No good will come by putting Jennifer in jail.


Jose M. Diaz   February 16th, 2010 4:16 pm ET

One more note on this, if I may.

In most states, if not all, the bartender or person who supplied the alcohol to someone who is obviously impaired, as these girls were, would be held accountable as well for an alcohol related accident.

Where are we at with this ?


sue   February 16th, 2010 4:17 pm ET

I feel the wrong person is on trial here, It should be the person or persons that contributed to these minors. I feel that they are responsible for what happened to these girls.


callmemrhobbs   February 16th, 2010 4:23 pm ET

I read in very few of the previous comments that Ms.Carty should be held responsible because the car was loaned to her by her mother.I totally agree because it was her responsibility to take steps to make sure that nobody,including herself,would drive that car once they started drinking alcohol.I liken this case to incidents where people have been charged in connection with the death of someone who died while they were commiting a crime.Carty was committing a crime,and not just a reckless mistake. She has already acknowledged drinking that night. I also find it disgusting that no adult has been charged for providing the alcohol in the first place.


D   February 16th, 2010 4:25 pm ET

Concerning Jenn's statement and whoever said that it is funny she remembers nothing else but the fact that they were not wearing seatbelts.......it was a proven fact that neither girl was wearing a seatbelt and she was probably told that from investigators along with the fact that they were ejected and both intoxicated. Maybe that is how she can say that she knew they were not wearing seatbelts. And I do believe that it was stated that she suffered severe head trauma....so my guess would be that is attiributing to her not remembering anything.


Dee   February 16th, 2010 4:26 pm ET

I do not now or even after Jen was aquited thought Ravin was driving,
Jen always drove and she was the one driving when they left the BP.
I still can not understand how Ravin's body could have ended up where it was if she was driving, it is not possible. Regardless of who was driving it was not a shock to have recieved the news. Ravin was not Jen's best friend she was nothing more than a drinking buddy every night and every week-end. Jen did not care about anything other than getting Drunk! Nothing has changed, when 3 other friends lost their life from alcohol related accident you would have thought they would learn, but they did'nt. After the funeral a group of friends went to the crash site and got drunk and leaving Ravin beers near the cross.
Not one adult talked about drinking and driving at the funeral. Jen herself showed up at a party a couple months after getting out of the hospital. I know that her mother has let Jen have parties and knew they were drinking. Bottom line is that it really does not matter who was driving, Jen was drunk and Ravin was to drunk to say no!
You would think that if you lost your "best" friend to drinking and driving you would stop, Neither Ravin or Jen stopped when they lost Kassidi perhaps if they did at least Ravin would be with us,


MELISSA M. JONES   February 16th, 2010 4:26 pm ET

The prosecution cut their own throat with that accident scene expert. Resonable doubt. Aquittal. NEXT


Jennifer   February 16th, 2010 4:26 pm ET

Ravin was practically family to me, she is the cousin of my boyfriend at the time. The words unfortunate, tragic and heartbreaking do not even begin to describe Ravins death. If you never had the opportunity to meet Ravin I apologize, she is truely an unforgettable person that has certainly changed my life. Although Jen was blessed with the oppurtunity to continue living her life, she will deal with being accused for her taking her best friend's life for as long as she lives. The question "who was driving" obviously cannot be answered. Unfortunately two girls failing to make good decisions caused one to lose their life. I do not believe that this is a situation to "choose sides", I do understand and cannot blame Ravins mom and family for the pain and anger that is being held inside, I love you all and I know that my losing Ravin does not compare to what you have to deal with. My heart and prayers also go out to Jen and her family. Although Jen is found not guilty in this case I do feel that she is paying and will continue to pay for this terrible accident for the rest of her life, whether she was or was not driving. Sadly there is nothing that anybody can ever do to bring Rae back. Ravin had the biggest heart I'd ever known a human to have and I do not think that this is the way she would want things to be. Rest peacefully Rae.


vic easterling   February 16th, 2010 4:29 pm ET

I believe life in one way or another always seemes unfair .When a life is took in this way it is painful and sad in a way we may never know.I also balieve this trial was inpart a case when hurt people, hurt people.It is may hope and preyer that your pain will be lefted.


Cori   February 16th, 2010 4:42 pm ET

In reading some of the posts, reguardless of whether Jennifer is being punished enough for the loss of her best friend, and Ravin losing her life, Jennifer should do some jail time too. They both made the decision to drink and get into and operate a motor vehicle. I feel for both families and the losses that they are suffering, but if we don't start letting people know that their are judicial punishments for drinking and driving too, it will always continue to be a problem. Drinking and driving should have harsh consequences so that it might wake people up to the fact that their actions are unexcusable. Any drunk driver, whether they hurt someone or not, needs to understand if they get caught, they're going to do time. Letting people off lightly hasn't done us any good so far. How many more people need to lose family members before we wake up and realize that a harsher punishment is needed.


Janet   February 16th, 2010 4:43 pm ET

OK, so I must get on my soap box – I am sorry to all of those who don't want to hear this. These girls got into this position because they had no parental supervision. I knew not to believe my teen or trust her for that matter because I could remember some of the stupid things that I did when I was that age. Their brains are not developed fully until they are at least 21. Do the research. Cars, for children of that age, should only be used to go back and forth to work and school. Check on your children to see if they are really where they say they are going to be. Cell phones now have GPS trackers – use them. Kids don't tell the truth many times because they want to have "fun". Many times "fun" includes drugs and alcohol. Trust me, if you do these things and not let your kids hang out and get into dangerous situations such as Jennifer and Ravin, you will be thanked by your teen when he/she is mature and greatful that you didn't let him/her get into situations like that. They may not like you at the time but in all reality, you are their parent, not their friend, they need to respect you as a parent so you can get them through all of the hard stuff and keep them alive through their toughest years. I promise, they will thank you.


Suzanne   February 16th, 2010 4:45 pm ET

It's too bad she got off. I realize it was an "accident" but it was preventable and she should have been held accountable! My Aunt was killed by a drunk driver so I don't like to hear excuses like "this is what teenagers do", it was an "accident" so she shouldn't take responsibility. I guess until you lose a loved one to this PREVENTABLE accident or you're a drunk, you won't learn! Perhaps if everyone stopped making excuses and took some responsibility the world would be a much better place. People don't want to face the consequences of their actions, they seem to think everything is someone else's fault. Perhaps if parents taught their children better and to take responsibility instead of always running to their rescue, they would learn a valuable lesson


Madelyn   February 16th, 2010 5:00 pm ET

I believe the Florida Highway Patrol seemed to lack in their investigation which in turn has left huge loop holes and many questions unanswered, not to mention "The Truth!" In this day and age and given the technology we have at our disposal who doesn't do a thorough investigation covering all their basis... except if you have something to hide or someone to cover up for??? Hhhmmmmm??
I feel the professional authorities who arrived at the scence should stand trial and answer a few questions as to why their job was not a thorough one...given the loss of a precious young life you would think that would have huge motivation for the Florida police to do their jub, do it correctly and get answers to the number of questions out there that thanks to them...will go unanswered FOREVER!!! They seem to be under one huge umbrella that is protecting them!
The medical examiner..could not answer one question with a definitive answer.. "Maybe" "It's possible" "Could be"
Perhaps a second opinion from an experienced examiner in this field should have been persued.
I do not believe for a moment Jen has no recollection of driving a car that night. She may want people to believe that dumb statement which seems to be backed up with medical documentation but prior to this crash, she knew exactly what she was doing.
In the end, it only comes down to this.. Jen Carty has her life what she makes of it is her choice and Raven has lost hers.
We love you Raven.........Always in our Hearts


Jennifer Nichols Ks.   February 16th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

I would like to start out by saying that my heart goes out to Ravens family as it does to Jennifer for their loss... I really don't think that Jennifer should be found guilty... She has to deal with this for the rest of her life... As far as remembering I do believe her... I got into a car wreck back in 97 and lost my best friend of 13 years in it... I was the driver and don't remember anything other than what my parents have told me... And dealing with something so tragic I think that going to prison for 15 years is nothing compared to dealing with a tragic accident for the rest of her life... I know that people talk and think that it is easy for a person to go on living but it isn't it is very hard... I know that they were drinking and driving and that should not be excluded out but at the same time I think that they need to get something more to prove that Jennifer was the actual driver...


tom dunn   February 16th, 2010 5:18 pm ET

i think they are going after the wrong people. they need to find out who bought them the alcohol and go after them. i think the carty girl was driving but she does not deserve a prison sentence. the guilty ones are the adults that bought the alcohol for them.


sal   February 16th, 2010 5:25 pm ET

you mean to tell me they could not get blood and hair samples from the deployed air bags


Diane   February 16th, 2010 5:37 pm ET

I saw where this happened elsewhere and they actually took saliva samples off of the airbag because it does hit you in the face when it opens. They were able to determine who was driving (the one that survived was the driver) from that evidence.
And these are crashes not accidents. Accidents are something that cannot be prevented...these incidents are 100% avoidable...don't drink and drive.
I hope she's completely sober today.


her daddy-brad   February 16th, 2010 5:59 pm ET

just watch court t.v.the case is on


H   February 16th, 2010 6:04 pm ET

First of all it was an ACCIDENT! it can happen to any one of us on any kind of day. both of the girls knew what they were doing when they got in the car. if people really knew Ravin and the relationship she had with her mother it was not a good one at all. i have been to ravins moms house numerous times where she has supplied the alcohol and even joined the festivities. if people dont believe that there are pictures and plenty of people to back this statement up. Ravin moved out of her house when she was 15 and also stopped going to school when she was in 9th grade. where was the parenting in that? yes both of the girls knew what they were doing by getting into the car while intoxicated but like i said earlier it was an accident and could happen to anyone of us. the investigation was closed for quite a long time and then was reopened because the mother wanted to try to prove she was a "good" mom. jennifer has definitely learned her lesson contrary to what people may think. i am sure jennifer lives with this every single day and will live with it for the rest of her life. yes loosing any family member is a terrible ordeal but yet could have been prevented and there is nothing anyone can do about it now. bad mouthing and harrassing jennifer is not going to bring Ravin back. whats done is done.


Sara Sims   February 16th, 2010 6:17 pm ET

There is no way anyone knows who was driving.
It is as tho the prosecution just wanted to get one of them. Someone....
One is dead, so get the other.

How can states complain about not enough money to get cases through the courts and then they brings cases like this?
In criminal court is it not supposed to be beyond any doubt? Or are we slowly inching toward " They probably did it,ya know? So let's try to prove it".

We don't even have anything close to a probability. It's possible. It's also "possible" that I'm pregnant.

As an RN I see many sad things, and some things happen to people who don't deserve it.
Sometimes it is what it is and we just can't change it.

But I cannot find anything that would even lead someone to bring her to trial. Nor can I find anything that would cause someone to be so sure that they could look at both kids and say "she did it...because.."?

The parent of the child who died... I am a parent. There is no greater pain than loosing a child, and to want to avenge her death is normal. But nothing will bring her back.
What IF Billington was driving?
More important it is not the parents who have the right to run the legal system and most of all, we have to remember justice. For all.
Right now we just don't know which child was driving the car. I don't think we ever will.


N/A   February 16th, 2010 6:22 pm ET

She was an amazing girl with a huge heart that you could see right through her big blue eyes. I know I am not the only one who misses her.. there is not a day that goes bye that she does not run through my mind I drive past the crash site everyday and that is hard enough i cant begin to imagine what it must feel like to walk by what used to be her room..so for all these people writing nasty things towards her family and Jen please be respectful towards there feelings as well.
Thank you
I miss you girl!


Tammie - Chicago   February 16th, 2010 6:29 pm ET

Cant they test the inside of vehicle ( the seats look like there is blood) A concentration of blood of victim on one side of the vehicle or other

What about reacting the crash with dummies to see where the bodies land or computer generated crash simulation


JB   February 16th, 2010 6:35 pm ET

It is devastating that a beautiful young girl has lost her life, especially since it was avoidable . If only SOMEONE would have stepped up and stopped the girls and the rest of the kids from drinking and driving. If you ask me the fault falls to more then just the driver. The blame should be placed on each of the ' friends" whom knew what was going on and participating instead of preventing. Unfortunately, a young girl lost her life from a bad decision. The blame cant be placed on just one person. Its a domino effect really. Everyone can say what if? But What parents and kids need to realize is that it very easily could have been them or their child. But we can not go back in time. Kids need to realize that their actions have a consequence. Sometimes it is a deadly one. If only kids didnt think that they were invincible. I understand the parents wanting justice or some closure for what has happened to their little girl, however, it doesn't bring Ravin back. As sad as it is for all that knew her to come to grips with, I dont think that one person is to blame. I do believe that ravin was NOT the driver. But the only one who can say for sure is Jennifer. Maybe one day she will take responsibility for what had happened. I can only pray that Ravin's death was not invane. Nobody will be the same. I pray for the families that were affected by this tragic accident. RIP Ravin you will NEVER be forgotten.


Madelyn   February 16th, 2010 7:16 pm ET

I disagree Janet(sorry) You can be the best parent out there but you have to let go at some point to let your kids live and learn for themselves. You can only hope the great parenting skills have made an impact on them as it makes them who they are and hopefully they will follow the correct path.I have a 21 yr old son who still hasnt matured to my expextations, my 13 yr old daughter is more responsible than he is at 21 and we are great parents...I do agree on the tracking device, it was certainly enabled on his phone so I knew his each and every move 24/7 Parenting truely is a full time job and and extremely hard one.


Unknown 2   February 16th, 2010 7:38 pm ET

I believe that Jennifer Carty should be charger with the DUI and Manslaughter. My reasoning behind this is due to the fact that her statement that she gave, stating how she remembers that they were not wearing seatbelts and everything else that happen that night leading up to the accident, but fails to remember if she got behind the wheel or not? There is deffently something fishy going on there. Due to the fact that they are going to stick to her story of her not knowing only becuase they would not be able to convict her due to the fact of lack of evidence. But it is clear that Ravin Billington was the passenger of the black Hyundi, because all of her injuries were substained on the one side of her body. Even if they decide to not convict her to the full 15 years of time, I do believe that they should give her some sort of time due to the fact that she is responsible for the fact for the loss of her friend. Jennifer Carty is still able to go on and live her life, but Ravin and her family will not be able to watch her grow, they will never be able to see their baby girl again. A lesson needs to be learned here.


honesty.   February 16th, 2010 8:02 pm ET

As I watch the video and look at the picture of the vehicle, my heart aches. Ravin was my best friend and I remember the last time I talked to her, she had called me the day before and the last thing she said was I love you call ya tomorrow. The shirt that she had on, was mine..her favorite shirt...I sat with her mother in the court room the day the verdict was given, held her hand, and cried with her. If you have the oppritunity to know Ravin you should consider yourself blessed she was an amazing girl and no matter what she was always laughing and always smiling. Accepting the fact that she is gone is hard, sometimes it seems unreal. When I drive by her site on babcock I honk and blow a kiss because I can no longer speak to her. Drinking and driving is NO joke and you can try to put yourself in Ravin's shoes, Ravin's little brother and sister, or her mother but you will NEVER know the pain that they go through. Knowing that when they wake up EVERYDAY their sister or her daughter is not in the next room sleeping or getting up to watch her siblings. I have my own personal thoughts on what the verdict should have been, i've been in the car with Ravin and Jenn at the same time, and I know my best friend better then any of you. If she was drinking that night, I know that she had a limit and she knew it. So when you comment on this, just remember that one young beautiful girl is dead because of anothers actions. My prayers are with Ravin's family, friends, and with Rae. Shes in heaven now and know who is really true to her. Oh and one more thing before you go and get in your car after drinking, remember that tomorrow is NOT promised to you, and you should really re-think things before you do it.


Pam   February 16th, 2010 8:03 pm ET

They should make the people that drink read the history what alcohol was made for before it was use a a legalized beverage. Well the beverage part is what everyone believen that it is. It is what it was and still is but not in the hospitals anymore. It was a use for operations like the other drugs that doctors use today but to make a person sleep so they can operate on someone. Doctors stop using it b/c it took a long time to for the person to passout. Also people don't know that drinking in itself can be dangerous b/c you can get alcohol poisoning. And you can damage your liver to a point where you can bleed out. I heard of one woman that died and had taken alot of drugs with alcohol and didn't even know that she was dying from it. When they got her dead body and look in it they found decaying organs. If that don't tell you do not touch the stuff, then nothing will.


nisha dash   February 16th, 2010 8:24 pm ET

Rae Rae, I miss you soooo much. We all do. I just want to let you know none of your friends up north forgot about you. We love you so much. I keep your family in my prayers. Love you Rae Rae


tom   February 16th, 2010 8:33 pm ET

in her statement she said, consequences of our decision ,both made smarter choices that night , her best friend would be alive. we both chose to get in the car that night,both chose not to put on the seat belts,that to me is guilty,but the prosecutor cant prove she was driving 50/50 toss a coin free or guilty. she knows she is!!!!!!!theyprobily didnt read her the rights.


Denise R   February 16th, 2010 8:46 pm ET

When my daughter and her friends went out in my Cadillac, with my permission, my daughter was NOT the driver. Her friend was a year older and had more driving experience. She also had appropriate insurance. I saw all paperwork. So I let her drive. The fact that it was Jennifer's mother's car does not necessarily mean that she was driving. It's not as simple as that. This was a tragic accident but BOTH girls had been drinking, not just Jennifer nor just Raven.


looie   February 16th, 2010 8:52 pm ET

There but by the grace of God go I, i am 54 years old, have raised two girls, both mothers now. One of them could have easily been involved at any time in a vehicular accident but she was one of the lucky. We called her the wild child. She came from a very good and well respected family in our community. She mudded, hunted, went running in the trucks with boys, wouldnt miss a truck pull but now she is the mother of her own baby girl. By the way,our other daughter went the other route. cheerleader, honors club at high school. Didn't miss a rule. Now I came from a pretty good farm family and Ikindof liked the excitement growing up myself. The point I am trying to make is Jenny and Ravin didn't do anything I myself did'nt do nor most of my classmates. Typically kids in rural school districts just DO THIS! It's awful for sure but we can't chain ourselves to them 24/7, I tried but t finally got tired of trying to show up at everything she went to from age 16 on. There's no one to blame here, they each chose their destiny, I'm sure they each had heard all the DARE information before, had seen smashed cars in which "some teenager,somehwere died'. Both Jenny and Ravin I'm sure had received all that info but when the fun gets going they forget allthose images and messages because what they were thinking and so did I "uh, uh that ain't going to happen to me!" Giggle, giggle, giggle. God loves all teenagers and young adults and I'm sure he wants them to be safe AND happy but he also had to give them a brain and with that brain the ability to use it correctly. None of use it all the time correctly, we've just seen enough heartache to learn from it.


Claudia   February 16th, 2010 8:56 pm ET

This case is a true miscarriage of justice! Our prosecutors are supposed to be held to the standard of " beyond a reasonable doubt" and not to be influenced by the angry parents of Devin. If the parents are angry they should stand each day looking in the mirror and asking themselves where they went wrong. I hardly believe this was the first time their daughter was involved in underage drinking. Who let's their teenager hangout at the local gas station and then is surprised when these things happen. I don't excuse the actions of Ms. Carry either however a possible 15 year jail term is a gross miscarriage and still won't change the fact that her friend is dead. I think there has been enough evidence to support reasonable doubt. The punishment of living with the guilt of surviving an accident in which both girls were equally responsible os enough in my opinion. Finally for those of you who do not believe that Ms. Carty's head injury could cause a loss of memory should become a nurse as I myself am and then you will be able to appreciate the devastating longterm effects of brain trauma! I wish the best of luck to Ms Carty and hope our justice system works as it should and she is found NOT GUILTY!!!


M   February 16th, 2010 10:57 pm ET

My sympathy is for both familes. My son is currently serving time in prison for Vehicular Manslaughter for an accident just like these girls where the occupants all were drinking, underage, and thrown from our vehicle. My son's friend lost his life. Our son was charged with murder and ultimately pleaded to a lessor sentence. Our son to this day does not believe he was the driving due to the memories he has regained from the accident. He stepped up to the plate and took the punishment. He knew from day one that he desereved punishment for making a terrible decision that night. He knew right from wrong but thought it could never happen to them. As his parent, I do not believe that an adult prison at 18 is the answer for his first mistake. A mistake that so many make but never get caught at it.

Prison will not bring this girl back nor will it give her family peace. Like us, they know she made a terrible mistake that she paid the ultimate price with her life. My son's plan for his release is to go out and tell his story in hopes of keeping this from happening to other teens. Hopefully, this girl, her family and the other family can make a difference for others.


Joanie from Milwaukee, WI   February 16th, 2010 11:45 pm ET

Why doesn't the In-Session staff omit the comments that include the verdict on the first day of the trial. Obvious this trial isn't "live" so if the comments are read for content – why does the staff post those that reveal the verdict. When I first started watching the show I liked it, then too many repeats of the same information over and over so I started taping it – now I won't watch it or read the blogs anymore. Fake


Heather Manning   February 17th, 2010 12:25 am ET

The fact that Jennifer Carty is claiming she "doesnt remember anything" is a poor excuse. I live in New Jersey, where Rae lived before moving to Palm Bay, and was one of her best friends. We had our little group of close friends who knew everything about eachother. When Rae moved to Florida, we were still very close. According to what I am aware of, Rae and Jennifer became friends at a house party one night, a short time before the accident occured because Jennifer was vommiting in the bathroom due to drinking too much alcohol. Ravin was the type of person to always help other people. I do understand that they became friends after that, however Jennifer is trying to play the sympathy card on the jury. If she feels so sad about the death of Ravin, a young, beautiful and happy girl that couldn't have an enemy even if she tried, then why did she have the nerve to ask Ravin's mother back for clothes that Ravin had borrowed? How could she remember that? It doesnt make sense. The medical examiner stated that there was a mark on Ravin's shoulder that "could have" been made by a seat belt. In Jennifer's statement she says that she knows they were NOT wearing seatbelts. How could she remember that? Our group of friends flew down to Palm Bay, immediatly after we found out about Ravin's death. I specifically recall Ravin's friend saying that Jen was driving and that Ravin had passed away in his arms. Is he going to testify? I truley believe that Jennifer Carty, along with other people, know the truth but are not going to say it. Most people WOULD defend the person that survived. However, certain comments Jennifer has made to people and some of her actions that occured in the two years since the accident have proven that she hasn't learned and she needs to be punished. Ravin's life was lost. She can not be replaced. Mama D, Brad, Hunter and Micaela will never get thier loved one back. Ravin's friends will never get her back. Jennifer needs to learn from her actions and I truely believe that it will only happen if she is punished. I understand that she is sorry, but sometimes "sorry" doesnt cut it. Actions have consequences.


Rich   February 17th, 2010 1:56 am ET

a family member of mine was the driver of a DUI manslaughter case where he and his friend both were drinking and his friend was killed. he lives with this everyday of his life and regrets driving that night and is paying for that right now, he is in jail (he got 6 months). he owned up to what happen and talks at victim impact panals and talks to people about how terrible drinking and driving is. for this girl to get multiple years in prison is not right. if these girls are friends they both made a decision to drive or ride with someone who has had to many, or in this case even one is to many when your under 21. i can't say i havent drank and drove because almost everyone has, and if they tell you different they are lieing to themselves. but going through what i have from the other side sitting in the court room and hearing all the facts around what happen that night i just hope if i choose to ride with one of my friends when they were drinking, i dont want my friend to go through that and go to prison. Lets all learn from this and stop drinking and driving. God Bless both families.


Joan   February 17th, 2010 10:12 am ET

Is there a difference in the girls height, wondering if the positioning of the front seats would determine who may of been driving.


Heather, Wisconsin   February 17th, 2010 10:30 am ET

i think that she should be made an example out of this incident. Too many people today whether it be teens or adults cause many drunk driving accidents each year and the laws for these crimes are so lax. The government needs to make harsher punishments for drunk drivers and save the lives of the innocent. I hope she is thrown in jail and locked away for many years.


Angie C.   February 17th, 2010 10:39 am ET

How can the "expert" get up there and say there was no damamge to the left side of the vehicle? Does he need glasses? & another thing the guy who made the 911 call said the car was passing him but he sees nothing of who was driving or who was ejected where. Minors are not able to buy alcohol for a good reason, the defendant need to open her mouth & say who provided it and they should also be charged. She has "selective" amnesia!
Angie


Lisa   February 17th, 2010 10:46 am ET

So let me get this right. An expert hired by the DA feels it cannot be determined who was driving but they still continued to charge her with this? So far I haven't seen anything clearly stating who was the driver. She should be charged with something for her irresponsibility for her underage drinking but not for the death of her friend.


Ken   February 17th, 2010 11:08 am ET

The entire case rests on the ability of the State to prove who was driving. If they cannot prove who was driving then there should be a not guilty verdict. Killing someone while driving is a far cry from being a passenger involved in a traffic accident intoxicated or not. Until the prosecution can establish that fact all other testimony is and should be a mute point.


John   February 17th, 2010 11:12 am ET

I feel they both went out the window, my heart goes out to everyone n the familys involved n im sorry that such an unfortunate event has had ocurred


sue parshall   February 17th, 2010 11:16 am ET

why do we have stiff penalties for some n others get off,victims families never see justice in my eyes,but i guess the thing here is the young woman will have to live with this everyday of her life.sad sad,man i would not know what id do if i ever hurtanyone driving,i know it was an accident they happen,but alchol no ya just dont do it,ya know come on ppl, we have enough suffering in the world not ta have to deal with this preventable kind of things happening.god bless them n their families and everyone affected by similar situations.


mirko   February 17th, 2010 11:18 am ET

Fournier says the girls were ejected from the vehicle prior to the car flipping over. Later he says the girls were tumbling inside the vehicle like in a laundry dryer. So which is it?


Sue   February 17th, 2010 11:18 am ET

Vinnie – one thing that I was wondering was how tall the girls were? The photo of the inside of the car shows the position of the drivers seat. Couldn't the detectives determine the driver's height by the seat position?


John   February 17th, 2010 11:21 am ET

I think that nobody should be charged since both were under the influence at the time, my heart goes out to the fam n all frens but i dnt think she should be charged, living with what she went threw n still will go threw is punishment enuff. thats alot on somebody to go threw


susan   February 17th, 2010 11:33 am ET

i know already the verdict,i can only say,when somebody drive drunk and kill somebody and face NO consequences,so much for the justice system!


Brenda   February 17th, 2010 11:34 am ET

Commonsense tells you that Jennifer was driving her mother's car. But no, they can't tell who was driving via fingerprints or DNA. Jennifer Carty could have argued that there were legitimate reasons for her prints and DNA to be on the driver's wheel, i.e. she drove the car at some point that night. I had a lawyer tell me that the law is based on commonsense. I told her, It wasn't. There is no such thing as commonsense. It varies on the basis of so many dimensions, culture, age, region, gender.


michelle   February 17th, 2010 11:41 am ET

Camille,
In response to your post; yes, she has to live with the consequences of killing her friend, but she should MOST DEFINITELY be charged. What is your reasoning for not wanting her to be punished for her actions? She broke the law. She was drinking UNDERAGE. And she KILLED someone. End of story. 15 yrs is probably a little harsh, but when you make a decision to break the law you are putting yourself in the position to be punished.


Guy Paquette   February 17th, 2010 11:41 am ET

I think Carty should be held responsible regardless who was driving, she knowingly let an intoxicated person drive her vehicle.
Minor or not, if she cannot be held accountable for her driving decisions then the driving age should be pushed up to eighteen.

Also why is the seat adjustment not referred to in identifying the driver. I noticed in the pictures that the passenger seat is further away than the drivers. Who was the tallest in the two.....


Nate   February 17th, 2010 11:51 am ET

@Melinda West, how can they actually determine fingerprints if the car was in a ditch. Think about it. The officers wont be able to get in the car to find forensic stuff.


Bob   February 17th, 2010 11:54 am ET

Jennifer Carty knows the real answer, and I am surprised they haven't given her a polygraph just to see how she would respond.


Karen   February 17th, 2010 12:04 pm ET

I live in Palm Bay Fl, & my daughter knew both girls. If memory serves me correctly, the area of the wreck is very dark & the road twists & curves. hard road to drive sober. Was it ever mentioned if the girls brought the beer from the BP? Why wasnt there camera in the parking area? Seems odd to me.

Ive lived in Palm Bay for 18 years & if the town had things for the kids to do, they would not be hanging @ a gas station drinking & driving.


max   February 17th, 2010 12:06 pm ET

I'm having a hard time agreeing with the second reconstruction expert and have several observations based only from his findings and my view of the photo of the car at rest after coming to a stop. (A) if the car impacted the ditch in a way to scoop that much earth it should have damaged the right door mirror, it appears to be only pushed out of alignment (B) the hood appears to be in somewhat closed (latched) and relative alignment in my opinion the hood could not opened (unlatch) and return to a somewhat aligned position with that damage. I don't believe the hinges are that strong. (c) where the windows up or down by evidence of position of the window regulator inside the door? and was there any glass in the skin of either girl? this may seem petty but the car demo did not represent any logic at least to me. (d) and if they together went out the open door as the impacted the ground wouldn't that most likely have deposited the bodies closer to the car as would have been on its final rotation and the door opening would pointed towards the ground.
I agree with the first reconstruction expert, it is a tuff call.


dano   February 17th, 2010 12:08 pm ET

No matter what you may think or perceive, Jennifer will most likely go free. There's just no way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she was indeed driving.


max   February 17th, 2010 12:16 pm ET

I'm having a hard time agreeing with the second reconstruction expert and have several observations based only from his findings and my view of the photo of the car at rest after coming to a stop. (A) if the car impacted the ditch in a way to scoop that much earth it should have damaged the right door mirror, it appears to be only pushed out of alignment (B) the hood appears to be in somewhat closed (latched) and relative alignment in my opinion the hood could not opened (unlatch) and return to a somewhat aligned position with that damage. I don't believe the hinges are that strong. (c) where the windows up or down by evidence of position of the window regulator inside the door? and was there any glass in the skin of either girl? this may seem petty but the car demo did not represent any logic at least to me. (d) and if they together went out the open door as it impacted the ground, wouldn't that most likely have deposited the bodies closer to the car? as the car would have been on its final rotation and the door opening would pointed towards the ground.
I agree with the first reconstruction expert, it is a tuff call.


r.fowler   February 17th, 2010 12:28 pm ET

sir: how long has it been that TWO wrongs dont make a RIGHT???both were drunk,why charge one?? no person saw who was driving,no way anyone say who was the operater,think this girl will be punished enough in loosing best friend,i as x-police officer cannot see how this went this far,,who pays for all these lawyers???


judy   February 17th, 2010 12:41 pm ET

You know, unfortunately I have driven while I was intoxicated when I was younger but if I had driven and caused an accident that took the life of my friend, or anyone else for that matter, I would be a big enough person to stand up and take responsibility. I couldn't live with myself if I were to have people believe that this girl was responsible for her own death. i do understand that when she got into that car with Carty, knowing she was intoxicated, she was putting herself in danger, but ultimately, Carty was the one who was driving and she did cause thwe accident. She needs to woman-up and admit it. I don't believe for one minute that she doesn't remember who was driving. Her lawyer has told her to dummy up and obviously she doesn't have enough of a concious to do the right thing. I think she is suffering from "selective memory".


Rho   February 17th, 2010 12:48 pm ET

I believe this case is a waste of tax dollars. First I don't believe there is enough evidence but mostly.......Why should people be prosecuted for a choice someone else makes? The girl chose to get in the car knowing they had been drinking. I understand one girl paid with her life but the other girl will be paying for the rest of her life....she will never forget it...it will haunt her forever. Now which is worse....going to heaven or living life on hell here on earth? My heart goes out to both families as it will effect both families forever.


Palm Bay Sux   February 17th, 2010 12:59 pm ET

Closing arguments: Hell yeah it should matter where underage girls got a hold of booze. Thats what the problem is in Palm Bay Fl. everyone & their Grandfather drinks, kids get their drink on @ home & its ok!??. BS! & if that BP is known as a hangout for kids, where is Palm Bay PD? Arrest the kids, maybe if the parents had to go down to the Detention Ctr in the dead of night, they would watch their kids better. & give a fig where they are & be just as pissed off as I am that every single night in this town, theres underage kids getting drunk & killed. hard to be a good parent when there are too many that are not. & will give your kid booze & no one backs you up & helps. & Yeah I have called Palm Bay PD & told them there was a parent giving my child drink & they didnt do a g~damn thing.


katie penman   February 17th, 2010 12:59 pm ET

how can she be convicted of manslaughter if this was an accident? she didn't intentionally kill her best friend, and if the prosecution can't prove she was behind the wheel then how can she be charged? I can see charging her with DUI but not manslaughter,


Upandout   February 17th, 2010 1:06 pm ET

Why are we not giving credit to the guy who closed the store and saw her getting into the driver's seat? He clearly saw her. So what if he got his time mixed up? He was late closing up. Bottom line, he saw her getting in the drivers seat. She is guilty. Sentence her.


educated   February 17th, 2010 1:08 pm ET

i think she was driving and that she is guilty, but however no one can prove without a reasonable doubt for 100% certainty that Carty was driving the car or not. therefore she should not be guilty even though she probably is! If there was 100% proof givin that she was driving it would be a different story...


angie   February 17th, 2010 1:12 pm ET

witnesses are not evidence. especially in this case. good job by the defense. to much reasonable doubt. NOT GUILTY.


Upandout   February 17th, 2010 1:15 pm ET

Please tell me how it is that the only real witness in this case claims to have no memory of the before and after of the accident. Her blood alcohol level was high, but not enough for an alleged "blackout." I think she knows what happened and more importantly, where she was sitting. The family of the victim deserves to know everything she knows. This is no doubt a horrible accident, but you need to tell the family everything! I think she's afraid to tell the truth for fear she will go to jail...as she should. She knows who drove the car and the gas station attendant knows too.


WHJ   February 17th, 2010 1:22 pm ET

I cannot and I try not to believe this Jennifer say that Ravin is her best friend and all that good stuff .She lied and she knows that she was driving she just doesnt want to spend 15 years in prission .
Iam sure this jury will not get it right she is guilty and she needs to pay for what she did sorry living with it the rest her life doesnt pay for what she did she is just covering her own butt . She will have to answer to her maker one day


Melissa R   February 17th, 2010 1:34 pm ET

I truly believe that the person responsible for contributing these young ladies with the alcohol should be held responsible. I have 2 friends that were in a somewhat similar situation where they were both drunk and do not recall even getting in the car much less the accident they got into, and the funny thing was, the one driving was not the one who owned the car, the passenger at the time was infact the owner of the vehicle. but i understand that these cases cannot be compared, none of my friends were killed in the accident and they were both of legal drinking age. this is a tuff case, but dont charge the young woman just because the mother of the victim threw a fit, was she there? was she ever there when these girls hung out, probably not.


Barbara   February 17th, 2010 1:39 pm ET

today I was watching the rest of the trial and the state trying to say carty was driving cause of her injurys were on the left is not true. My sister and I were in an accident we rolled She was driving I was passenger my injurys were on my left hers was on her right. because as we rolled we hit each other with such force that caused my left arm to be broken and her right.


dstarr   February 17th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

I have been watching this from the start, it is soo sad, but they can't prove who was driving ravins mother is just sad and upset about losing her daughter and should have never pressed to have jen charged with this, dont you think jen is suffering enough by losing her best friend


observer   February 17th, 2010 1:46 pm ET

Posted On: October 28, 2009 by Ralph Behr, Esq Florida DUI Woman

Not Found Guilty in Fatal Crash

I wish they would put somewhat newer cases not ones where you can just research and find out the outcome.


anonymous   February 17th, 2010 2:04 pm ET

Ravin was a beautiful girl with a beautiful heart. The girls were not best friends...in fact, they had both dated the same boy and did not like each other not long before this accident occurred. They were drinking buddies. Both girls liked to party and it just so happened that that particular night it happened to be the Carty girl behind the wheel. I do not think that the Carty girl should have spent fifteen years in jail but she should have done some jail time. My heart goes out to Ravin's mother and family, however, she knows Ravin was a typical teenage girl who liked to party and has done so excessively at times, putting her life at risk. It is not 100% the Carty girl's fault. What about the boys who dropped the girls off at the BP station, knowing that the girls were drunk. Shouldn't they be held accountable for allowing the girls to get behind the wheel of an automobile? May you RIP Ravin. You always WERE and always WILL be in my heart.


Wears   February 17th, 2010 2:21 pm ET

I heard the prosecutor say one girl was injuried on the right and one on the left. Could these injurieds be caused by the 2 coming together on impact. Who evers injuries were on the right would be driving. And if they can't put the survivor in teh drivers seat they can't reach a verdict. If I were a juror with out eye wistness account, I wouldn't even consider any verdict.


sonia   February 17th, 2010 2:27 pm ET

why didnt anyone check the position of the drivers seat'in regrds to the height of both girls?


sonia   February 17th, 2010 2:32 pm ET

why didnt anyone check the position of the drivers seat (distance)to both of the girls height?


Angela Petiluna   February 17th, 2010 2:50 pm ET

This incidents like DUI has been common case sad to say this teens are not even learning when to know their limitations about so much party and too much drinking. We all know that too much intoxications no person is thinking in their right mind we have to expect the worst is going to happen. Just like Carty she can't even remember what happened and now she will totally regret and will always bring it in her conscience that it is her fault that her bestfriend is gone. If she is not really guilty about it, who is to blame?To think that she drove the car and lucky to be alive and her bestfriend Ravin was pronounced dead after the accident. He must be charged for driving the car by being drunk. No matter what it is, if the court can't find the right answer God knows what happened. Let just pray for the soul of Ravin and her peace especially to her family. To Jennifer who is also mourning losing her bestfriend we also pray for your acceptance and clarity about this tragedy.


lisa   February 17th, 2010 2:52 pm ET

Yet another tragic drunk driving case. Jennifer Carty should devote the rest of her life to educating others on the unfathomable depths of pain that drunk driving causes people. Maybe if people caught on dui or dwi had to scrape up what happens to people after an accident like this, then they would reconsider their actions. Its not pretty.


Scott StClair   February 17th, 2010 2:59 pm ET

Regarding the commentators comments about the removing of the slippers upon entering the store. Last night I went into a 7-Eleven, they were mopping the store. My slippers were dirty, I would have marked up his floor, I took my slippers off. Here in Hawaii, where I live, this is common practice. Not Suspicious.


leah   February 17th, 2010 3:07 pm ET

I'd like to know whose thumbprint was on the key in the ignition, as it's very difficult to turn the ignition without the use of a thumb placed flat against the key. Wouldn't the most recent print be on top of any latent prints? I cannot imagine anyone putting the key in the ignition and starting the car and then changing places to let someone else drive the car.


Karen   February 17th, 2010 3:15 pm ET

Those who say someone should pay for this are correct. Someone should!

But certainly NOT Jennifer. Why should she. Isn't she already paying for this, on her own! Both girls were over the legal limit of alcohol. Both girls were not wearing seatbelts. Both were known to get drunk. So why should only one pay for all those mistakes? One paid with her life, and the other is paying with her freedom.

Personally, I ask why the people who supplied these underage girls with alcohol haven't been charged with manslaughter charges? Isn't it illiegal to supply them with it?

This trial seems to be only over who was actually driving the car. Evidently the police didn't take fingerprints of the bottles they found at the scene and this was because they couldn't confirm that they had been in the car or how long they had been in the field so useless evidence. They also didn't take any evidence from the car as it was in the ditch and I am sure someone said yesterday that the evidence was gone anyways.

I am sure that Jennifer is sad at what has happened and I also feel 100% sure that she will pay for this the rest of her life without going to jail. Give the girl a break. If Ravin had have been the one to survive, would it also be fair to make her life a living hell over this? Surely you can find others who are just as guilty as she is and was.

As for the parents of Ravin, if they are responsible for the courts trying Jennifer, how would they have felt if the shoe had been on the other foot?


Kristen   February 17th, 2010 3:16 pm ET

My name is Kristen, I am from New Jersey, and Ravin was my BEST FRIEND, not even she was a SISTER. So you can only imagine how are lives have changed since Ravin was killed. Being her Best friend and hearing this horrible new I was on a plane first thing to FLorida for her funeral. Everyone gathered at Ravin's home where we all mourned over her death. Before we went to her home though we went to the sight of her death where Gary was there and we aksed him about her death. He told us word for word how Jen was driving and she passed two cars and when getting back over the car crashed. He got out and ran to Ravin and she was bleeding and she died in his arms. When medical attention came he said that they didn't pay attention to Ravin because she was already pronounced dead. But now that they have to face the court, they want to change there stories to say they don't know who was driving there are six people who went to Florida from Jersey who listened to this storey. Why is it fair that Jennifer Carty just gets off free. She had no remorse for Ravin's death but to really ask Donna Billington if she had any of her clothes. If Jennifer was In Jersey she would already been serving time no and, if's, or but's. Florida needs to do something more about the system, because a guilty girl is free. And why was her boyfriend DJ even involved in this case he has nothing to do with it and he knew Ravin way longer then Jen. Ravin dated DJ for a long time before he met Jenifer and started dating her. Ravin and Jennifer werent even friends at this time. They recently had started becoming friends. So DJ knows nothing!


jmayl   February 17th, 2010 3:23 pm ET

I dont know what trial the jury watched but from where I sat in my living room Carty was guilty. Pretty disappointed in that jury. Kill someone while drunk and you can just walk away, no accountability. Where does that leave the family of the victim? At the very least that girl should have spent some time in jail for the fact that she DID get behind the wheel and drive while drunk and killed her friend. And then she ask the victims mother if she has any clothes at her house and can she have them back. Right, thats important..........I killed your daughter but I would like my clothes back.
The jury screwed this one up. Wonder what they would have done if it would have been their child???


roman   February 17th, 2010 3:37 pm ET

Ms. Carty should have been acquited in DUI charge since no one could proof who was behind the wheel, and found guilty on manslaughter charges simply because it was her car and even if Mrs. Carty did not drive herself, she let her friend drive the vehicle with full knowledge that her friend is under the influence of alcohol, and there is no doubt in my mind that Mrs. Carty knew her friend was drunk since they were drinking together. It's just like if you give a loaded weapon to a intoxicated person and he accidentally shoots and kills himself you should charged with criminal negligance or manslaughter. The bottom line is it's your vehicle, you are in control of your vehicle, meaning you have the keys to your vehicle, you are responsible for what happens to it and it's passengers. And if you let your friend drive drunk you should be held responsible for what happens to your him/her, especially if you are riding in the same car.


sarah   February 17th, 2010 3:38 pm ET

I would like to say that i feel no one truly knows the pain that everyone must be feeling for the loss of such a beautiful person. It must be very difficult dealing with this situation and i hope that someday peace will come for each and everyone effected by this tragedy, by knowing that such a wonderful women is singing with the angels and watching over all whom she knew and loved. Someday everyone will be back together till that day comes my you all be blessed with the memories that held you so close. I am deeply sorry for your loss.


H   February 17th, 2010 3:43 pm ET

in reguards to mrs. billington's interview, i was close with both girls and jenn has told me on numerous occasions how she wish her and ravin's family still had a close relationship but ravin's mother had written her a letter stating she wanted no further contact with jenn or her mother and said that she didn't want jenn to try and make any contact with her. also, what people don't know is ravin's mother had a sheriff come to jenn's house and tell her if she went to ravin's cemetary that she would be arrested for trespassing. now how is someone supposed to come "knock on your door" when they are told in more ways than one not to have any contact AT all with the family.

as to the funeral comment, when ravin's funeral was held jenn still wasn't aware that ravin had even passed away at the time and she was still in very bad condition in the hospital so she obviously couldn't have gone to the funeral. and jenn's mom wasn't able to come because she needed to be by jenn's side, and she had also went to ravin's mom's house and told her she was very sorry that her daugher had died. i'm not trying to say anything bad about ravin's mother at all, but i feel like people are getting the wrong impression about jenn and her family's feelings towards this whole situation.


Kate   February 17th, 2010 3:43 pm ET

We don't know all the facts. We only know that the DEFENSE attorney says you can't prove she was driving. That's their job. We don't know what the prosecutor has for evidence.


Mary   February 17th, 2010 4:13 pm ET

I think that the verdict the jury came up with is the right one. They simply didn't have enough to convict Jennifer Carty. Also, I do not think she is lying about not knowing what happened that night. She was in a serious accident with very serious injuries. Yes, my heart absolutely goes out to Ravin's family, but it also goes out to the Carty's because Jenn has to deal with this tragedy for the rest of her life, that is deffinately punishment enough.

My real question is how does Ravin's mother expect Jenn to just come up to her door and apologize just like that? Yes, it's the right thing to do, Jenn porbably contemplated it so many times but Jenn is probably so scared of what Mrs. Billington's actions would be.

RIP Ravin


Kristin Marie   February 17th, 2010 4:45 pm ET

This should never went to trial, period. There's been so many accident in FL over past couple of years, driven by teenagers..and none went to court..I should know.I have lived in Florida and back in early 1990, there were couple of accidents involving teenagers, either drinking or doing some road rage..

This was an unfortunate and tragic accident. Ravin's sep dad had NO right to investigate Jenn the way he did..to put pressure on her when clearly she could not remember. Its not that Jenn didn't want to remember, she wants too..but somehow her mind is protecting her,

This was a horrible accident and people are acting like Jenn set out to kill her best friend..I feel horrible for the Billing's family and they want justice for their daughter, but did they take in consideration that Ravin, alone took a drink, several that night? They think Jenn forced her to drink, get in the car..and etc?


Dee   February 17th, 2010 4:53 pm ET

I believe that Jennifer is quilty. I think she remembers but would rather blame her dead friend then tell the truth. I think the boys know more than they are saying and that they supplied the beer. After all they were hanging out off an on all night together.
I believe the girls had the car windows down and that Ravin went out the passenger window and that is why she is the further away from the car. If you were in a car spinning and rolling out of control, the driver has a steering wheel to hold onto the passenger has nothing. If they both went out the driver's side door why is the beer bottle still laying on the passenger seat. Jennefer will have to live her life knowing what really happened.
Isn't there a law that if you knowlingly let someone who is intoxicated drive your car, shouldn't they be responsible for what happens, especially a death????
I hope Ravin's parents take Jennifer to civil court for wrongful death. Either way Jennefer should not get off scott free.


brokenheart   February 17th, 2010 5:38 pm ET

My heart goes out to Ravens mom, I live with the loss of my son, Justin, who @ the time was 18. I lost him Aug 18, 2007 from an accident that happened on Aug 11, 2007. A kid he knew only 2 weeks had came to stay at my house with him, we had company out of town so the boys chose to sleep in the car, after Justin feel asleep, the other boy decided to take off with my vehicle, Justin asleep in the back seat, made it about 3 miles from my house, going 70mph, messing with a cell phone and BAC of .09 he missed a curve and hit a tree right where my sons head laid. I did get a conviction for the kid, the judge gave him everything he could with what he had, but I had to do most of the investigating myself an basically shove it down the sherriffs dept's throat. They know who bought the kid the beer but let him off scott free. But the loss of Justin has turned my life upside down, has given me an emptiness that nothing can fill. Yes, Jen will have to live with the loss of her friend the rest of her life but it's nothing compared to what Raven's mom with live with. If Jen can't remember if she was driving or not than she can't remember the accident so really how much impact will it have on her anyway. My heart goes out to Raven's mom


Laura   February 17th, 2010 5:55 pm ET

RIP Rae Rae... We all love and miss you..


Cori   February 17th, 2010 7:55 pm ET

Hello? Come in? We must all take responsibility for our own actions! This IS A TRAGEDY..... BUT...Both girls drank underage, Both girls got into a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Both girls are responsible for their actions. Let's thank God that no one in the cars that got passed were injured or killed because of the girls' poor judgement.
It is aweful that this had to happen and Jennifer needs to wake up! She is lucky to have her life, Ravin didn't get so lucky..... but that's all it was.... luck. Let's not rely on luck to bring us into tomorrow.


Jennifer W   February 18th, 2010 9:48 am ET

I have had a few friends die in drinking and driving accidents. One was from a drunk driver and the other was driving behind the wheel drunk. From experience going out and drinking I can tell you that everyone in that car knows the risk of drinking and driving. Everyone that gets in that car at the end of the night from partying also knows the risk of getting into trouble. I feel that everyone that is in the car at the end of the night is responsible for their own actions. I dont believe that she should hold one person for their actions unless they kill someone in another car. I can tell you that before friends get into the car they know how much the driver has had to drink. I can almost bet they are the ones that voted for that driver to drive them home drunk. Here are what kids are thinking today...I would rather have them drive me home drunk and that person end up with a DUI then me not thinking of what the consequences that could follow. If you get in that car and the driver hits a tree and kills you then you signed that waiver when you agreed to get in that car knowing damn well that your friend is either buzzed or drunk. However if your the one behind the wheel and you kill someone in another car....you should be charged with murder that person never agreed to no waiver.


Theresa   February 18th, 2010 11:10 am ET

I feel that Jen remembers more and so do the boys. They were all together getting drunk probly and don't want to get in trouble them selfs. I know that defence attorneys tell their witness what to say and not say in court I have been there myself. I believe Jen was driving and feel the investigastion done first let alot of evidence get away. Why did the Carty's have the car scraped so quickly unless they were trying to get rid of evidence. She should spend time in jail for her actions. And also be charged with underage drinking. That was never mentioned. I hope that Mrs Billington takes her to civil court. Jen should be a women and that responsililty. It was her car she was driving! Why would the jury believe two young men that were drinking with the girls instead of the person that seenJen get in the driver seat. As for the timing of when they left the BP and the accident and the 911 call I think the boys are covering their own butts. I don't think they called 9111 right away.


Hawaii   February 18th, 2010 12:08 pm ET

It is an adult crime therefore they can do adult time.


anonymous   February 18th, 2010 4:04 pm ET

From what I hear, they were all playing chicken on the road passing each other at high rates of speed. All should be held accountable because they were all driving recklessly (the two boys and the girl). The boys admitted to my friend that they were doing that and that Jen was driving the other car the day after the accident!!! They are all covering up for one another...it is a disgrace and the prosecutor should be ashamed of himself for not investigating this case further. Its a small town and everyone knows the real truth and they all have to live with themselves. What a pity....Ravin may not want her friends to be in jail because she, too, was acting recklessly, but how can they lie like that under oath and look at themselves in the mirror the next day?


Anonymous   February 18th, 2010 7:48 pm ET

From watching this trial, I believe that noone besides the two girls really know what happened. Even if it's true that Jennifer says she can't remember what happened that night, (which is very believeable knowing she was drunk and had serious critical injuries) I believe they are both at fault for this accident. Yes one of them was driving, but they knew better, they were under aged and drinking they knew they wernt suppose to be. Pointing fingers at someone is not going to help get the truth. They will still both be evenly at fault to me. So I think that noone should say it is Jennifers fault because even if she was driving, it does not matter to me, they are BOTH at fault and thats that! Did Ravin deserve this? absolutely not!!!! But, everyones trying to make Jennifer out as the bad person, and like I said they were BOTH drunk and decided to get in a car.


Anonymous   February 18th, 2010 7:58 pm ET

Why didn't the BP worker get in trouble for sellign to minors? They just totally ignored that fact and this would have never happened if the alcohol was not sold to the two minors. The worker should have been one of the first people they talked to and then, put him away. Why should he be leto off the hook? In other cases, the seller of the alcohol to the minors would be in trouble and have consequences. I feel very strongly about that, it makes me mad and sick.


Heather   August 12th, 2010 12:27 pm ET

I Think that they should have looked intl it more i really don't believe that Raen was driving that night. all thoughts go out to her family.


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