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Florida man pays for recklessly causing wife’s death; Multi-tasking Matthew Notebaert, who was having sex with wife while driving at speed during fatal DUI crash, jailed 5 years

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Matthew Notebaert incourt for his sentencing, Thursday3.jpgMatthew Notebaert [in regulation blue], looks back at family members in the courtroom gallery as he stands with his attorney on May 8, 2014

Mathew Notebaert was told that he failed his wife when he killed her as they had sex while he drove drunk.
A  judge in Palm Beach gave a stern admonishment to  33-year-old Notebaert as she sentenced him to serve five years behind bars for a drunken wreck that killed his Amanda Norbaert as they had sex, calling it one of the “most senseless, tragic acts” she had ever seen.
Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Laura Johnson sentenced Matthew Notebaert on Wednesday for the fatal crash on March 8, 2014, as the couple celebrated Amanda’s first night out after giving birth to the couple’s second child.
“This isn’t your first chance,” Johnson told Notebaert, according to the Palm Beach Post. “You’ve been to jail before, you’ve been on probation. … You failed your wife, you failed your children and you failed all your family that is here today.”
Notebaert told the judge that he missed his wife “more than words can express” and described the events of the night the fatal crash that fractured his family permanently.
The grief stricken widower told the court, he and Amanda started drinking from a flask of whisky they smuggled into a country music concert.

Matthew Notebaert and his wife, Amanda Notebaert1.png
Matthew Notebaert with his wife Amanda were celebrating the arrival of their new baby on the night of the fatal DUI that claimed Amanda’s life

The night got heated on their way home after the concert, with the husband behind the wheel, they couple started smooching, at one point they pulled over and became intimate.
By the time he drove on Southern Boulevard which is a few streets from their home, Notebaert said, his wife was sitting in his lap.
His next memory after a turn of the wheel Notebaert said, was waking up in the couple’s Chevrolet Equinox next to his wife’s body.
Amanda Notebaert cracked her head against the dashboard and windshield. She died at the scene, according to arrest reports.
The couple’s SUV had been travelling at speeds of 55 mph in a 30-mph zone and missing three warning signs of a canal ahead. The Equinox crashed into the canal so hard that it was airborne for about 30 feet, crashing into the opposite bank of the canal.
Neighbors, at the time of the crash, said it was hard to fathom how the couple missed the signs on the dead-end street just one block away from their Loxahatchee home.
“As soon as you come down the street, you see the reflectors all the way down the street,”  neighbor Noelle Zulli Adams told “You know it’s a dead-end.”
Toxicology reports indicated Matthew Notebaert had a blood-alcohol level nearly twice the limit in Florida. He also had marijuana in his system, at the time.

Matthew Notebaert and his wife, Amanda Notebaertat their wedding.jpgMathew and Amanda on their wedding day

The sentence for Matthew Notebaert came just over three years after the death of his wife, Amanda, in a crash that left their two children without a mother and caused a deep rift between the couple’s families that even on Wednesday had her closest friends and relatives split into two camp.
Some of Amanda Notebaert’s relatives did not mince words, stating the maximum punishment permissible was appropriate, they felt for killing her and leaving their 12-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter without a mother.
“You had a responsibility to get your wife home safely,” said the woman’s parents, Lisa and Mike Stacey, who asked Johnson to give their son-in-law the “maximum allowable sentence.”
Prosecutors, however, felt the 10-year minimum recommended sentence was too harsh and recommended a seven-year term. But judge Johnson noted Notebaert’s previous criminal history. Accusations of reckless driving and leaving the scene of a crash in the past,  five felonies including cocaine possession, burglary and grand theft played a role in his sentencing.


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