News Stories about the Accident
DRUNK DRIVER GOES FREE, FAMILY CARRIES ON
HOMER MARQUEZ, MYPlainview.COM
Though they have forgiven Jimmy Scott Barnhill for causing the accident that killed their daughter Ashleah Richards in 2009, Mark, Ashleah's father, did admit it stung when he found out last week that Barnhill had been granted parole after serving only three years in prison.
"It stung. I mean we forgive him, but we just feel the justice system let us down," said Mark, who added he received a handwritten letter from Barnhill informing him that he had been freed and was moving back home to Midland.
Richard Porter, Plainview Daily Herald
A small cross marks the spot on I-27 south of Hale Center where Ashleah Richards was killed in a car wreck by a drunk driver in October 2009. Jimmy Scott Barnhill of Midland was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a charge of intoxication manslaughter after he crossed the median into oncoming traffic and hit the vehicle Richards was driving. He also received probation on two counts of intoxication assault for injuries caused to passengers in the vehicle. Despite her death, Richards' family has forgiven Barnhill, citing alcohol as the ultimate cause of the tragedy. The Richards family works now to raise awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving.
Driver Charged with Felony Manslaughter
By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer
The driver of a wrong-way vehicle police say claimed the life of former Portales High three-sport standout Ashleah Richards, is facing felony charges.
Portales Native killed in Collision. Oct 12, 2009
Ashleah Richards liked to do things that stereotypically interest many girls — fix up hair, put on makeup and the like. But Richards was tough as nails, too, and that was evident in her playing days at Portales High School in the sports of volleyball, basketball and softball.
Family speaks out after suspected drunk driver kills a Plainview woman. Oct 12, 2009.
Ashleah's parents say she always put others first. Just a few weeks after her 21st birthday she offered to be the designated driver for her friends Saturday night, but no one ever dreamed her responsibility would result in her death. "I know where Ashleah is at and we grieve, we grieve because we miss her, but we are celebrating her life as well," said Ashleah's father Mark Richards.
Ashleah Richards remembered as kind, giving. Oct 13, 2009
Friends and family remember 21-year-old Ashleah Richards as a kind and giving person. "She would do anything to help anyone," Analicia Estrada, a teammate of Richards on the Wayland Baptist University volleyball team, said. "She would give the clothes off her back to anyone."