Slain UCO Professor's Daughter Seeks Suspect's Apology

Wednesday, March 26th 2014, 3:57 pm
By: News 9

The daughter of a slain University of Central Oklahoma professor confronted the suspect in her mother's killing Wednesday at the Oklahoma County District Courthouse.

Debra Reed was killed when deputies say underage drunk driver Chandler Kardaras slammed into Reed's car in Edmond over the summer.

Wednesday was the first time Reed's daughter, Melanie Berry, came face-to-face with Kardaras, who recently turned 21. At the age of 20, deputies say Kardaras got drunk at a wedding and chose to drive. The end result cost Reed her life.

12/24/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma County DA Files Murder Charge Against Suspect Of Fatal DUI

"[Kardaras] has no clue what she took away," said Berry.

After the preliminary court hearing ended Wednesday morning, Kardaras' lawyer told News 9 his client would not talk. Kardaras followed her lawyer's advice. It's been seven months since Reed was killed, and her relatives say there has never been an apology from Kardaras.

"It would mean a lot," Berry said. "It would probably change my heart, but we probably won't get [an apology]."

For Berry, Wednesday was an emotional first day in court as she continued fighting for her mom and seeking closure.

"I try not to be angry, but it's really getting hard," said Berry. "I want it to be over, and it's not going to be over for a long time."

The preliminary hearing in Judge Susan Johnson's courtroom was continued Wednesday. Prosecutors say Kardaras is facing a murder charge because the fatal DUI was her second DUI complaint. In Oklahoma, second degree murder carries a punishment of 10 years to life in prison.

Learn more about the UCO scholarship fund established in Reed's name and honor.