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A 25-year-old Phoenix woman who admitted to being heavily medicated when her car struck and killed an 18-year-old man in Peoria has been sentenced to six years in prison.
The judge also ordered Laura Flanders to submit to three years of supervised probation.
"Six years, that is not enough," said the victim's grieving brother, Jesse Romero III. "She sentenced my brother to a lifetime. I don't see why she shouldn't get the same."
As part of a plea agreement, Flanders pleaded guilty in December to negligent homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal collision in the Oct. 29, 2010 death of Joey Romero.
"From every being in my body I am sorry, I am, for everything that I've caused them - the pain, everything I've caused them (Romero family)," sobbed Flanders prior to being sentenced Thursday morning.
Romero was walking home on a sidewalk from his job at 83rd Avenue and Thunderbird Road when he was struck by a Chevrolet Trailblazer that drove on the sidewalk and then left the scene.
"I live every day with the loss of my brother," sobbed one of Romero's sisters. "I tell everyone I'm OK - and, I'm not."
Flanders, who's a mother to a 6-year-old boy, told police she had no idea where she was at the time of the crash and later said she knew she hit something - but thought that it was a tree, pole or bush.
Investigators learned that Flanders had disregarded the warnings of the effects the medications she was taking would have on her driving. She said she was so heavily medicated that it took awhile for her to realize she was drinking nail polish and spit it out that night.
"She deserves more, worse, than that," said Romero's father, Jesse Romero Jr., regarding Flander's sentence. "She got off easy in my book."
As a result of the death, Joey's Law was named after Romero and designed to crack down on hit-and-run drivers. It took effect in Arizona in 2012.