Charges increased for woman accused in fatal I-440 Raleigh crash

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Prosecutors have increased the charges against a young woman accused of driving drunk and killing a motorcyclist on Raleigh's beltline to second-degree murder and aggravated felony death by vehicle.

The move came after Keira Jo Sprouse's bond had already been increased to over $1 million when the Wake County D.A.'s office became involved in the case and prosecutors looked at her prior arrests. They say she has a pending DWI charge in Pitt County and an alcohol-related driving conviction in New York State.

Keira Jo Sprouse

Sprouse faced a judge for the first time Tuesday afternoon at the Wake County Justice Center. The judge told her she faces a maximum sentence of more than 23 years for just the two charges he handled Tuesday - felony death by vehicle and hit-and-run.

Sprouse, 23, also faces a number of other charges including the driving while her license was revoked and having no registration or insurance on her car, as well as the pending DWI in Pitt County.

In the front row of the courtroom were several of Sprouse's friends including her roommate who told ABC11 that, although she showed no emotion in court, Sprouse is devastated.

"She made a horrible mistake that she is very sorry for," said Katie Hughes. "It's devastating her. It's devastating her family. It's very sad. A lot of people love her and it's just we all don't know how to handle it."

A few rows behind Sprouse's friends were several friends of the victim, 50-year-old Tom Anstey.

"It's frustrating. I understand that the vehicle wasn't registered. She was driving without a license," said J Martin, a co-worker of Anstey's at Caterpillar. "You know it seems as though we had taken the steps to prevent her from being on the road, but simply access to the vehicle was all that it took for her."

Raleigh police say Sprouse was going 113 miles per hour when she slammed into the back of Antsey's motorcycle at the Glenwood Avenue exit on I-440 early Monday morning. A prosecutor says she left her car at the crash scene and somehow made it home to her Brier Creek area apartment 10 miles away. When police found her there hours later, court records show she still registered five points over the limit on a blood-alcohol test.

Sprouse's friends said she's a good and generous person. Antsey's friends said he was too and they can't believe he's gone.

"It is still setting in at this point the fact that we won't see him again or hear his motorcycle, which he was an accomplished and avid rider and on a beautiful day like today most definitely would have been out," Martin said.

A prosecutor said after court that Raleigh police are still looking into a number of unanswered questions in the case including where Sprouse might have been drinking before the crash.

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