It's a somber day for two Arkansas families who lost sons in a car wreck one year ago. It's an anniversary made even more painful because they say the woman responsible isn't serving out the sentence she agreed to.
Late Thursday afternoon, as people gathered to remember the Craighead County teens, the woman responsible for their deaths will walk out of jail. And the families say that's wrong. Along highway 163 near Jonesboro there are two crosses, side by side, just like the two boys they honor used to be. Matt Qualls and Deven Isbell did everything together. And on March 3, 2004, they died together. Kim Isbell, victim's mother said, "It was Wednesday night. They were going to church and about 6:36. They were hit by a woman who ran a stop sign." Patricia Kelley was charged with misdemeanor negligent homicide for the boys' deaths and battery for injuring Deven's big brother Tyler, who was driving at the time. She accepted a deal to spend 40 days in jail over the course of ten years, four days each year on the anniversary of the wreck and on each of the boys' birthdays. "We thought we're going to be in agony all day long, why not let her suffer a little bit too."
For the families on this anniversary, it's not just the date that matters but the time. So they were surprised to learn that Kelley reported the Craighead County jail at 6 p.m. Wednesday and would be released at 6 p.m. Thursday. "6:36, when it happened, she will have already served her time in jail and she'll be out doing what she wants." Dan Qualls, victim's father said, "The reason that we went with the other sentencing was that we could be assured that she was reminded. Apparently that's not going to happen today." They plan to talk to the district attorney's office so things will be different next year.