PONTIAC, Mich. - It was an emotional day in court, one the family of Paris Payton hopes will finally bring some closure.
The 22-year-old was sitting in the front passenger seat of a sport utility vehicle in June 2013 when Kenisha Blue's vehicle smashed into it. At the time, Blue was suicidal and depressed.
Her family had called the police but when they arrived at Blue's home she sped away in her car. She blew through a red light on Coolidge Road near 9 Mile Road in Oak Park. Her Chevrolet Equinox T-boned the Dodge SUV.
A 10-year-old in the victim's vehicle suffered a skull fracture. The driver hasn't been able to go back to work due to her injuries. Friends and family say they're trying to forgive Blue, who was convicted of manslaughter with a motor vehicle and reckless driving.
"We feel compassion for her family, too, because it's still tragic, you know, it involves everybody," said Janine Camper, a friend of the Payton family.
Blue was sentenced to 71 months to 15 years in prison. She is getting credit for time served since June.
She cried throughout her prepared statement, accepting responsibility for what she did.
"My heart goes out to the family. Please forgive me," she said. "I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. I am extremely remorseful."
Payton's family said the young woman had just enrolled at Oakland University with dreams of becoming a pediatrician.
"I just miss my daughter and I wish she was here," said Paris' mother, Shiela Payton.
The judge brought up Blue's own life challenges. The 35-year-old mother of three was sexually abused and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving four years in the Navy.
However, the judge also said Blue was a threat to the public and herself.
Copyright 2014 by ClickOnDetroit.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.