The Washington Post

D.C. woman sentenced to seven years in prison for fatal April crash

A District woman who had been drinking malt liquor and smoking crack cocaine was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday in connection with an April car accident that killed a Washington pedestrian.

D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert B. Dixon Jr. sentenced Maria N. Werts, 49, in the April 28 fatal accident that killed Emmajean Gainey, 58, as Gainey was walking on the sidewalk adjacent to the southbound lane of South Capitol Street.

In May, Werts pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and driving under the influence. The sentence was approved by Dixon as part of Werts’s plea.

If Werts had gone to trial and been convicted, she could have been sentenced to more than 30 years.

Prosecutor Edward O’Connell argued that Werts was intoxicated about 2:45 p.m. when she climbed behind the wheel of her 2010 Toyota Yaris and ran a red light at South Capitol, and then made an illegal right turn on red when she lost control of her car and mounted the sidewalk. She struck Gainey, pinning her against a tree between the sidewalk and roadway, killing her instantly.

Keith Alexander covers crime, specifically D.C. Superior Court cases for The Washington Post. He has covered dozens of crime stories from Banita Jacks, the Washington woman charged with killing her four daughters, to the murder trial of slain federal intern Chandra Levy.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
Drawing as an act of defiance
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Border collies: A 'mouse trap' for geese on the National Mall
Play Videos
Bao: The signature dish of San Francisco
This man's job is binge-watching for Netflix
What you need to know about Planned Parenthood
Play Videos
How to save and spend money at college
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Europe's migrant crisis, explained

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.