Florida Man Gets 5 Years for Killing Wife in Drunken Car Crash While They Had Sex
A Florida man was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison in the 2014 death of his wife — who was killed in a car crash as she was having sex with her husband, who was driving drunk, PEOPLE confirms.
In February, 32-year-old Matthew Notebaert pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide and drunk driving charges, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
The Palm Beach Post reports that the couple’s car crashed into a canal at the end of a dead-end dirt road in Loxahatchee, Florida, on March 8, 2014. The vehicle reportedly went airborne 30 feet.
Both Notebaert and his wife, 31-year-old Amanda Notebaert, were naked from the waist down and neither was wearing seat belts at the time, a spokesperson from the Palm Beach County State Attorney tells PEOPLE.
Amanda died at the scene.
Investigators determined Matthew was going 55 miles per hour in the 30 mile per hour zone, the spokesperson says. His blood alcohol level was between .135 and .163 — about double the legal limit of .08 percent — and he had THC in his system, according to the spokesperson.
Matthew spoke of his wife at his sentencing, telling Judge Laura Johnson, “I miss her more than words can express,” the Palm Beach Post reports.
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He tearfully said that he’d given his wife concert tickets as a Valentine’s Day gift, and their night out that March was her first since she gave birth to the couple’s second child, according to the Post.
The Notebaerts had been drinking Crown Royal out of a flask and pulled over and became intimate, the paper reports. Notebaert said he remembered Amanda sitting on his lap, but his next memory was waking up in a crashed car.
The couple has two children, a 12-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter, McClatchy reports.
Matthew’s attorney, Steven Bell, tells PEOPLE that the kids are now in the care of Notebaert’s brother, Adam. Matthew and Adam have had split custody of the children since his 2014 arrest.
When she sentenced Matthew, Judge Johnson said, “You failed your wife, you failed your children and you failed all your family that is here today,” according to the Palm Beach Post.
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While Assistant State Attorney Danielle Sheriff asked for a seven-year sentence, Bell had asked for probation and house arrest so Matthew could continue to raise his children. His attorney described him as “an amazing father.”
He argued that Matthew and Amanda “made a poor choice together,” and that they were both in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash, adding, “I didn’t like that Matt took the brunt of it. He’s the one who’s charged, because he’s alive.”
Amanda’s father, Mike Stacey, asked for the maximum allowable sentence, according to the Post. (PEOPLE’s calls to Amanda’s parents were not immediately returned.)
Stacey reportedly told Matthew, “You had a responsibility to get your wife home safely.”