Georgetown alumna Shelly Wentworth (NHS ’03) pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter last week after a drunken driving accident that led to the death of American University student Andrew Burr last January.
Wentworth initially faced a charge of negligent homicide, but her charge was later upgraded to involuntary manslaughter and driving while intoxicated.
She pleaded guilty Nov. 1 and will be sentenced Jan. 14. During her plea, she requested to deliver herself voluntarily to the prison after her sentencing.
District law calls for at least a two-year jail sentence for involuntary manslaughter. The maximum sentence for manslaughter is 30 years in prison.
A judge will determine Wentworth’s exact sentence.
The car carrying Burr and four other AU students was stopped at a red light on the corner of Wisconsin Ave. and Edmunds St. NW when Wentworth, with a blood alcohol level of 0.13, slammed her car into the back of it. There was no evidence that she attempted to brake.
The legal limit for blood alcohol content in Washington, D.C., is 0.08.
Burr, an international student from England, was pronounced dead at George Washington University Hospital 10 minutes after the crash.
Kyle Bastanchury, another passenger in the car, was also transported to GWU hospital where he was in serious, but stable, condition after the accident. The other passengers sustained minor injuries and were taken to Georgetown University Hospital.
Wentworth, who was an MVP on the women’s sailing team while a student at Georgetown, was released on bail after the incident. She was ordered to keep a 2 a.m. curfew and receive treatment for alcoholism.
Bastanchury, now a senior at AU, is Burr’s representative filing suit against Wentworth on Burr’s behalf. Bastanchury had been friends with Burr for about three years before the accident.
“It’s a very hard time for me,” Bastanchury said. “It’s a very hard time for everyone, but I have faith in the justice system of the country and I think it will work out.”