Kimberly Wenthold, who pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2015, will remain in prison.
Recently, Wenthold applied for commutation, and Wednesday, August 14 she appeared before the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board.
Wenthold was sentenced to 23 years for the crime, yet after serving four years, she applied for the early release.
Both the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office and the family of 8-year old Cadence Gordon argued fiercely against the commutation.
“She wants this board to give her the benefit of the doubt, to show mercy to her where she showed no mercy to anyone else,” said James Hughes, a family member.
The board was unanimous in its decision, 5-0. After hearing the details of the case, many in the room became emotional.
Labor Day, 2013 little Cadence Gordon was killed in a crash off Highway 9.
Wenthold was high on Xanax at the time. Investigators said she left the scene, but then returned, and was later arrested after a witness pointed her out in a crowd.
Wenthold plead guilty to manslaughter in 2015, and Cadence’s family said they remembered it well.
“And as the deputies were leading her out, she mouthed the words to somebody in the audience, ‘This is b*******,” said Hughes. “Here I am laying myself at your mercy. Because this woman does not deserve to be out of prison.”
“I was also offended at the application for this defendant. She never took responsibility of 12 people of her peers,” said John Pevehouse, a Cleveland County Assistant District Attorney.
The Pardon and Parole Board addressed Cadence’s family directly.
“You have represented your granddaughter very well here,” said one member.
“I know how I am going to vote. I don't know how they are going to vote,” said a second board member.
Wenthold can re-apply for commutation again in three years, if the law changes, or with the governor’s recommendation.