Columbia woman sentenced in fatal accident


A Columbia woman was sentenced to six months in the Howard County Detention Center yesterday after a drunken driving accident resulted in the death of her husband.

Howard County Circuit Judge Lenore R. Gelfman also placed Maricela Janeth Knight, of the 6300 block of Gray Sea Way, on six months of home detention and then five years of supervised probation after her release. She also will be required to complete 500 hours of community service, possibly with Mothers Against Drunk Driving and local schools, according to Assistant State's Attorney Stacy Mayer.

Knight, 31, pleaded guilty to negligent vehicular homicide in May. Prosecutors said that on Sept. 23 she was driving a 2005 Nissan Maxima home from Clyde's restaurant in Columbia about 2:20 a.m., with her husband in the back seat, when the car plowed through a guardrail on Route 175 near Tamar Drive, hit several trees and overturned on an embankment.

Her husband, Andrew T. Knight, 27, was not wearing a seatbelt, prosecutors said, and was thrown from the rear seat. Maricela Knight's blood alcohol content was 0.15, nearly double the legal limit, prosecutors said.

When recommending a punishment to Gelfman, Mayer said that prosecutors were "very mindful that there was a lot of tragedy surrounding this event, but there also was responsibility. ... We wanted to make sure it wouldn't happen again."

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