CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A reckless and speeding driver who pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 18-year-old Morgan Wetherbee won’t go to prison.
Judge Louis Trosch had to leave the courtroom; he got so frustrated and was appalled when he found out Breeana McClain, the woman who pleaded guilty, created a fake Facebook and Go Fund Me page to profit off the crash she caused.
Wetherbee was a gift to everyone who knew her.
“She was very artistic, and she saw everything in the world as something she could turn into a piece of art,” said Katie Wetherbee, Morgan’s sister.
Morgan’s family and friends wore sunflowers and the color yellow to remind them of Morgan’s brightness as they faced a difficult day in court Thursday.
“I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart,” said Breeana McClain, who pleaded guilty in the deadly crash. “I know their lives will never be the same without Morgan.”
McClain apologized to Wetherbee’s family.
Prosecutors said on May 7, 2020, McClain was weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the shoulder to pass someone, going 82 miles an hour in a 55 on north Tryon Street when she crossed four lanes of traffic, went over the median, into on-coming traffic and hit Wetherbee head-on.
Wetherbee suffered a traumatic brain injury and fought for seven months.
She died when she was 19 years old.
The judge spoke about McClain in court.
“At that time, she viewed herself as more important than any other human being on the planet, and as a result of that, she killed somebody,” said Judge Trosch.
The judge said that wasn’t even the worst of it.
“I had to leave. It’s outrageous!” said Judge Trosch.
The judge left the bench to meet with attorneys when he found out McClain used a picture of Wetherbee’s mangled car from the crash and pretended it was hers to profit off of it.
McClain won’t go to prison. She’ll be on supervised probation for three years after she pleaded guilty, and she won’t be able to drive during that time.
Morgan’s father spoke in court.
“I do not hate Ms. McClain. Even though I’m angry and I’m hurt, I do not hate her,” said Jason Wetherbee, Morgan’s father. “I forgive her.”
The judge is also requiring McClain, as part of her probation, to ‘make things right’ on social media to do something to get the truth out that she was not the victim.
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He also wants McClain to tell her story ten times over the next three years to people who commit traffic violations and have to attend class as part of their sentences.