MOUNT HOLLY — A Mount Laurel woman got a lighter prison sentence than expected this week when Superior Court judge handed down a five-year term for killing her husband in a drug-and-alcohol fueled crash in 2017.

Tameka Lawson, 38, pleaded guilty in March to second-degree vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated.

Burlington County prosecutors had requested a seven-year sentence for the deal, which dropped a more serious first-degree charge of vehicular homicide. The maximum sentence for a second-degree crime is 10 years.

The sentence was announced Friday by the prosecutor's office, which did not provide the judge's detailed reasoning for the sentence.

Investigators say Lawson's car flew off Hartford Road in Delran on Nov. 12, 2017, before it crashed into a pole and overturned in a wooded area.

The crash killed Jamar Rentie, 38, who had been in the passenger seat.

Prosecutors said Lawson later tested positive for cocaine and had an alcohol-blood content of 0.109. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.

Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina noted that alcohol or drugs were the major contributing factor of 158 of the 591 fatal crashes in the state that year.

“It is extremely disappointing, and unacceptable, that fatalities caused by impaired driving continue to remain as these levels,” Coffina said. “There are options such as ride-sharing services, or choosing a designated driver. Cases such as this are particularly tragic because they are preventable.”

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.

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