Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey announced that a woman from Middletown has pleaded guilty in causing the death of her 18-year old passenger and seriously injuring another passenger in a crash on the Garden State Parkway in the early morning hours of November 26, 2018.
According to authorities, Kimberly Franklin, 20, of Middletown, the operator of the car, pleaded guilty today to aggravated manslaughter, vehicular homicide, assault by auto and driving while intoxicated.
Under a plea agreement reached with Middlesex County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Abrams, Franklin will be sentenced to a prison term of 10 years for causing the crash that killed Nicole Smith, 18, of Middletown and seriously injuring a 20-year old female passenger, also from Middletown. This term is subject to the No Early Release Act. As such, the defendant will have to serve 85 percent of her prison term before becoming eligible for parole.
In addition, Franklin will be subject to a loss of license upon her release from prison ranging from 5 years to life to be determined at sentencing.
Officials say the investigation determined that at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 26, 2018, Franklin was driving a 2018 Dodge Charger, in an excessive speed while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, when she rear-ended a 2009 Nissan Rogue on the southbound Garden State Parkway in Woodbridge Township.
Police say the Dodge proceeded to strike a guard rail and tree, then overturned causing her two passengers to be ejected from the vehicle.
According to authorities, Franklin is scheduled to be sentenced in New Brunswick by Superior Court Judge Diane Pincus on May 13th.