Clutching a framed photo of her son, Rosetta Scott turned to the defense table and asked Meghan Moyers to look at her.

Scott already had told the judge about the nightmare she has been living since the April car crash that resulted in the death of her only son, Jerome Payton Jr. About how Payton’s five kids will grow up without a father.

She wanted Moyers, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the crash, to look at her. Scott said she forgave Moyers, but it didn’t feel like Moyers was sorry.

“I am sorry,” Moyers said, turning to Scott.

The 24-year-old said she thinks about the crash every morning when she wakes up.

“You deserve an apology, but I couldn’t give you one because I’m ashamed,” she said.

“I just wish the best for you,” Scott told Moyers.

Douglas County District Judge Duane Dougherty sentenced Moyers to four to six years in prison. Under state sentencing guidelines, which generally cut sentences in half, she will be eligible for parole after two years and will be released after three years. She was given credit for 154 days served in jail.

Moyers faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.

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After 1 a.m. April 16, Moyers was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima north on the North Freeway near Lake Street when her car rear-ended an SUV driven by Payton, authorities said.

Prosecutor Jameson Cantwell said Moyers was driving 87 mph in a 65 mph zone and had marijuana, opioids and alcohol in her system. Payton was driving 63 mph.

The collision caused the 1995 Chevrolet Tahoe that Payton was driving to go off the roadway and roll after hitting a metal light pole. Payton, who authorities said was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the SUV and declared dead at the scene.

Moyers’ vehicle continued for 100 yards before it stopped. An affidavit said Moyers’ blood alcohol content was 0.066.

Cantwell said Moyers didn’t wake up that morning intending to hurt someone, but there must be consequences for her actions.

Moyers’ attorney, James Schaefer, had asked the judge for probation. He said his client had no prior criminal record, but she had developed a drug dependency after a difficult pregnancy.

Schaefer said Moyers is married and was training to become a nurse at the time of the crash.

Emily covers K-12 education, including Omaha Public Schools. Previously, Emily covered local government and the Nebraska Legislature for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @emily_nitcher. Phone: 402-444-1192.

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