TOMS RIVER — A woman has been sentenced to 6½ years in prison in the drowning death of a friend pushed into the deep end of a motel swimming pool during a night of drinking at the Jersey shore.

The Asbury Park Press reports that 20-year-old Jelani Webster of East Orange apologized during Friday's sentencing and cited an addiction to pills and alcohol.

Webster pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter in the death of 23-year-old Anijyah Price, of Newark. Defense attorneys called the July 2017 drowning at the Amethyst Motel in Point Pleasant Beach accidental.

The courtroom was packed with supporters of both defendant and victim. Superior Court Judge James Blaney said he found sentencing in such cases difficult, saying "All of those people have suffered since this tragedy occurred."

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