Renee Robbins' family and friends wore ribbons in her favorite color, purple, as they faced the man who caused her death.
"Guilty, your honor," Derek Seber said.
They were words the Robbins family has waited months to hear. Seber, 23, a former Norwich University student, pleaded guilty to driving drunk with death resulting and no contest to the charge that he fled the scene.
Last fall, Seber was driving drunk with a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit when he crashed his car heading back to school from an off-campus party. Robbins was one of seven people in the car and was sitting on someone's lap. The Norwich University student died at the scene. Three others were critically injured.
U.S. Superior Court Judge Howard VanBenthuysen: By pleading guilty you're admitting those things. Is that true? Did you do that on October 2nd?
Derek Seber: Yes, your honor.
Seber agreed to serve 2 1/2 years in prison as part of a 5-15 year sentence.
"It's just not enough time," Mark Robbins said.
Renee Robbins' dad, Mark, is a Massachusetts state trooper. Right after the deadly crash he wanted the maximum sentence-- 45 years in jail. But realistically he knows Seber will never serve that much time. He now thinks four years better fits the crime.
"We can quantify a 4-year sentence and know what it means to an individual that is 22, 23 years old. It's a substantial portion of his life, but not ending point of his life," Robbins said.
But no matter how much time Seber gets at sentencing, he and his family will never know the pain the Robbins family is feeling.
"At no point will my family and the Seber family ever be equal," Mark Robbins said. "This isn't about being equal. It's about being held responsible for your actions."
Seber has been free on bail since the day after the accident and remains on probation. A sentencing date has not been set.
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