Archive for Sunday, January 13, 2013

Former Kansas inmate who killed 3 in DUI accident has parole revoked

January 13, 2013


Kansas Department of Corrections photo of Jennifer Lyn Adams, who spent six years in prison for killing three people while driving drunk in 2005.

Kansas Department of Corrections photo of Jennifer Lyn Adams, who spent six years in prison for killing three people while driving drunk in 2005.

The Kansas Department of Corrections is revoking the parole of a former Kansas inmate — who killed three people in a drunken driving accident in 2005 — after she was arrested in Oklahoma on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Jeremy Barclay, KDOC spokesman, said his agency issued an arrest warrant for Jennifer Lyn Adams, 36, following news that Adams was arrested in October in Bixby, Okla., on charges of DUI, drug possession, driving left of center and transporting an open container.

Adams spent six years in a Kansas prison after pleading guilty in Sherman County to three counts of involuntary manslaughter. Adams was drunk when she was involved in an accident on Interstate 70 that killed three Goodland women.

Adams was paroled from prison in July 2011 but moved to Oklahoma, where her parole case was transferred.

The Oklahoma misdemeanor DUI charge had been dropped, but only so prosecutors can refile felony DUI charges against Adams, said Adam Scharn, an assistant district attorney for Tulsa County. Scharn said they learned of Adams' past DUI history only after charging her.

But Barclay said Adams is in violation of her parole terms, which prohibit her from drinking alcohol. The violation allows the KDOC to issue a warrant and send Adams back to prison, he said.

Adams was arrested last week in Oklahoma on the warrant and will be transported back to Kansas, Barclay said.

Though Adams was prohibited from drinking alcohol, an Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman said that Adams had not been placed on any type of alcohol-monitoring device.

It's not yet clear whether Adams had a valid Oklahoma driver's license.


christie 5 years, 2 months ago

From a bleeding heart liberal: I think all of those who were involved with the decision to grant her parole should have to serve her remaining sentence as well.

Want more? Ok... how about this: The only think I like about the Saudi legal system is the punishment for DUI. First offense - beheading. Second offense.... oooops.

progressive_thinker 5 years, 2 months ago

There was no "decision" to parole her. She served the prison portion of her sentence, minus any good time credits that she earned. If she did not get disciplinary reports and participated in recommended programs, staff had no option but to award the good time [15% of the prison portion of the sentence.] For this person, as with most inmates in Kansas, release is pretty much set at the time of sentencing. Kansas has a "determinate" sentencing scheme.

If convicted of some new offense, [even out of state] she will be required to serve, in prison, all of the remaining "supervision" portion of her sentence, along with the "good time" days [from the prison portion of her sentence] that she had earned.

shadowbox66044 5 years, 2 months ago

That's not the Saudi legal system. You get 70 lashes because alcohol is illegal then you go to jail for up to 2 years for the first DUI. Second one is more time in jail. Not beheading.

Food_for_Thought 5 years, 2 months ago

I would say either poor / lack of training and experience investigating impaired motorists or pure and simple laziness. Either way, a disappointing failure on the officers' end.

mdlund0 5 years, 2 months ago

Why not sue the bartender that served her the drinks? Why not sue the bar owner who hired the bartender? Why not sue the company who manufactured the liquor? Why not sue the shareholders of the company that manufactured the liquor? Ridiculous. The fault in the deaths of these three people does not lie at the fee of an officer who is bad at his job or anyone else... it lies, forever and always, at the feet of Jennifer Lyn Adams.

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

Actually, a number of those people bear some responsibility.

It's illegal to serve people who are already drunk, so the bartender shouldn't have served her after a certain point. Bar owners have a responsibility to train their staff as well.

And, if the officer had required a breathalyzer and taken her into custody, 3 people might not have died.

So, from a viewpoint of prevention, there were a number of things that other people could have done that might have prevented this, which would be a good thing. Assigning blame after the fact is a rather useless and pointless exercise, in my view.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

She is pretty. She probably flirted her way out of it. If she continues will her alcohol problem, though she'll look 60 by the time she turns 40, if she lives that long.

Clickker 5 years, 2 months ago

The whole thing is too bad. She does not look like someone who would have these kinds of issues. Sad.

EarthaKitt 5 years, 2 months ago

Exactly what does someone with these kinds of issues look like? I'd like to steer clear of them on the roadway when possible.

Ignignokt 5 years, 2 months ago

So what does an alcoholic look like? Anyone who is not a blond white female?

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

You mean placidly and pleasantly smiling in a DOC photo, assumedly after killing 3 people?

theoljhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Make her serve her entire sentence! 6 years for 3 counts of manslaughter? Wow! Life is cheap! She should never be able to drive again!

CHEEZIT 5 years, 2 months ago

The only way that would happen is if she was in jail!

JamesRory 5 years, 2 months ago

Shaun Hittle- When you became a journalist, did you expect to be writing stupid stories for the sole purpose of getting people to click on a link and feeding into the narrow-mindedness of society? Jennifer Adams is a sweet girl who at was at one point an Elementary School teacher. She made a huge mistake and she paid 6 years of her life because of it. I've never met anyone who felt more guilty for what they've done. If you've never known anyone who has had a few drinks and driven home, congratulations. Most of us are not so lucky. It's a terrible thing to do, but to demonize her the way you did is disgusting. She is not even from Lawrence, the immediate area OR even the STATE, so for you to write about her and put her on the front page is cruel. She screwed up. She has a problem. She is also a beautiful, sweet, kind, intelligent, and compassionate person. Don't you think it would be difficult for her to live with what she did every day of her life? For a woman with her heart, that is punishment enough. She runs marathons and 5k's in order to raise money for society to make up for her past . She had a great job in Oklahoma and was going back to school to rebuild her life. She made a mistake... not unlike probably half of Lawrence. If the purpose of writing the article is to provide some sort of a warning to the college-aged population of Lawrence that something like this can happen to anyone, you can do that without turning this beautiful person into a drunken criminal to be feared. If you let people recognize themselves in her by showing what kind of person she really is instead of turning her into an evil person where people want to "behead" her or throw her in prison and throw away the key, people will be more likely to walk away from reading the article learning a lesson. The criminal justice system is not just for the "others" in society. They are our mothers, daughters, fathers, brothers and friends. The world we live in is not black and white and we can not automatically judge people based on a specific action or mistake they made. So I advise you that next time you write an article about someone, regardless of what they did, please recognize that these people are PEOPLE and deserve to be treated as such. As a journalist you have a huge influence over your readers, members of society and if we are ever going to progress as a society, people with your kind of power need to be more tactful instead of sensationalizing stories for your own agenda. By writing this story the way you did, you are nothing but a tool, a sheep.

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

That's all fine, except for a couple of things. 3 people are dead, and nothing will bring them back.

Apparently she didn't learn not to drink and drive from that experience, since she was doing it again.

JamesRory 5 years, 2 months ago

3 people were dead 7 years ago. That was the heartbreaking story then. What happens to her now is for KDOC, a judge, her victim's family, and her family to have an interest in. For people to sit here and discuss her character and the future of her case is sick, especially since she is not from this community. We cannot make ASSUMPTIONS about what she did or did not learn.

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

No need to make assumptions. She was arrested for driving over the center line, with drugs and alcohol in the car, and presumably intoxicated. After having killed three people while driving drunk less than a decade ago.

Do you know why the rest of us armchair character experts don't get our character questioned because our exploits appear in a newspaper?

Because we don't make repeated decisions like this, and as such don't get into the newspapers.

But thank you again for demonstrating proof of truth for Forum Rule Alpha.

"No good can ever come from reading comments on stories that you have personal connection to. No good can ever come from signing in to comment on stories that you have personal connection to."

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

The fact that it's been 7 years doesn't make the story any less heartbreaking now.

And, according to the story, she was arrested for DUI and having an open container in the car.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

Her character is sick. Her illness is alcoholism. Yes, when you are young and stupid, you might do something horrible that kills 3 people. Anyone who is not an alcoholic will never drink again. She started up again soon after she got out of prison. She has an illness, but the rest of us need to be protected from her illness.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 2 months ago

JamesRory, I don't quite understand what you're saying. This is a pretty straight forward crime story.

Shaun LJW

JamesRory 5 years, 2 months ago

I don't see you posting articles about every other parolee who violates the terms of their parole. Let alone if they are FROM Lawrence. Posting a huge picture of her on the front page of the website? That's what I have a problem with. Sensationalism.

Shaun Hittle 5 years, 2 months ago

I imagine we'd run a story on anyone who was responsible for a death, then engages in the same behavior that put them in prison.

For instance, if a person was in for murder, then was released, then killed again, I imagine we'd have a story on it.

We've written whole bunch of stories in the past couple of years on DUI laws, so it's something we keep a pretty close eye on.

Shaun LJW

Douglas Thompson 5 years, 2 months ago

Right, she clearly feels incredible guilt, that is why she was arrested for drunk driving in Oklahoma after killing 3 people in Kansas for drunk driving. If you feel guilty about doing something, you don't do it again. She made a terrible horrible mistake when she drove drunk and killed 3 people, driving drunk again while on parole where she is banned from consuming alcohol is not a mistake, it is just plain criminal. She is clearly a menace to society.

gatekeeper 5 years, 2 months ago

Funny, the AP thinks it's a worthy story and it's in papers and on websites across the country. Kansas isn't that big of a place and since we have lots of students from all over the state here in Lawrence, a story like this is news to be shared (doesn't matter if she was from Lawrence or busted in Lawrence).

It makes me sick to hear someone defending a person who drives drunk, has killed people from doing so and continues to drive drunk to put the rest of us in harms way. She may be a nice lady, but obviously doesn't care enough about herself or others and continues to put everyone in harms way by drinking and driving.

Yes, we have all made some poor decisions in life, but she had a good amount of time to think about that poor decision while sitting in jail and those CHOSE to get behind the wheel again drunk. An example DOES need to be made of her because she didn't learn from her mistake.

If she had killed someone you loved, you would have a different opinion.

There are no excuses for drinking and driving, ever. Doesn't matter if it's your first time or 50th.

sleepy33 5 years, 2 months ago

Man, I wish there was a thumbs down button for JamesRory's post.

JamesRory 5 years, 2 months ago

Why? Because I didn't sit here and talk about what a horrible human being she is and how she needs to go to prison for the rest of her life and get beheaded? Give me a break!

I don't expect everyone to agree with me, especially people who are so used to reading these stories on here and automatically placing people into a sterotypical "evil" box. Simple people come up with simple solutions. A society like ours would rather throw people into a jail cell for years and then expect them to come out completely reformed. Instead of considering programs like reformative justice or TREATMENT, they would rather just punish. I respect people for respecting the victim's families and I do NOT agree with her behavior, but I do know her and care about her and someone has to stand up for her.

sleepy33 5 years, 2 months ago

Why? So that I can indicate my disagreement without engaging you an an illogical and asinine discussion, that's why. Nobody on this board is saying she's 'evil' except you. Many people commit crimes for many reasons, and very few are what I would consider to be 'evil' , but society still needs to be protected from their behavior. I would hazard a guess that Jennifer has been offered or even mandated to be involved with some type of rehabilitative treatment as part of her parole. It does not appear to have been effective in controlling her behavior.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 2 months ago

James, first of all you need to break this up into paragraphs to make it easier to read. Some may just skip it. Just hit enter twice to create a paragraph space.

I agree with you that she deserved a second chance, but then she got it. She did kill three people and their families are hurt so badly that they will not be able to forget and forgive.

I believe that when people are drinking it affects how their brain works on the molecular level so they become a different person and are simply unable to make decisions. Some seem to go into a transformation when they drink, others don't.

I understand that you care for this woman and the wonderful person that she is when she is not drinking. You should be talking to her about the history she is making for herself because that is what others will see her as. Be honest when you talk to her, that is the only way.

Tomato 5 years, 2 months ago

"Don't you think it would be difficult for her to live with what she did every day of her life? For a woman with her heart, that is punishment enough."

Clearly it is not punishment enough, since she has failed to learn a lesson from killing a few people (or from the 6 years in prison), since she went ahead and got drunk, got into her car and put people in danger all over again.

If she had actually learned a lesson, she would not be drinking and driving. We actually can make an assumption about that.

Unless you would prefer that we assume that she was intentionally trying to kill people this time around? Because she can't pretend to be ignorant about putting people at risk, considering she has previously killed three people and was still on parole for that crime.

rcr 5 years, 2 months ago

"I've never met anyone who felt more guilty for what they've done."

Really? She felt so guilty that she went out drinking and driving once again. Thank god she was arrested this time, before killing more innocent people.

It does not mater where she is from, she needs to be returned to prison for the remainder of her sentence. She can deal with her guilt there.

Beth Ann Bittlingmayer 5 years, 2 months ago

Drinking and driving again does not in any way mean she doesn't feel guilty. It's a mistake, but it doesn't mean she doesn't feel guilty.

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago


But, it certainly means that she hasn't learned what most of us would expect she would learn from killing 3 people while DUI, which is not to do it again.

JamesRory 5 years, 2 months ago

I'm glad that you, along with most of the posters on the board, know exactly what "NEEDS" to be done. We have lots of judges in society and not very many people with compassion. It's not with just this case, it's a lot of cases. I don't agree with what Jen did. Drinking and driving is not a joke and needs to be dealt with seriously. But I am asking for people to realize that she's not any different than any of you... or your friends and family. People who can write things anonymously on news stories like this make me sick to my stomach. Wait until it happens to someone you care about. Then you'll be less likely to see the world in binary terms. Good vs. Evil... Us vs. Them... Law Abiding vs. Criminal. We are all a mix of everything and NO ONE is perfect.

Douglas Thompson 5 years, 2 months ago

Glad to see that anonymous posters make you sick but not a woman who kills three people and then does the exact same thing that caused her to kill three people. She is different from most people, they haven't KILLED PEOPLE and then repeated the same action again. Get over yourself. She is not some wonderful person who is being mistreated in the press, she has continuously put people's lives at risk. She is a bad person.

gatekeeper 5 years, 2 months ago

Yes, no one is perfect. The big deal here is that she made a huge mistake which cost three people their lives, served her time and then went back out and repeated the same mistake that caused others to lose their lives. You do know the definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. So, maybe she's crazy if she thought there'd be a different result to her getting hammered and driving again.

If someone in my family did what she did, I'd say lock them up. I have a nephew that got busted drinking right before his 21st bday. The entire family let him know that he got his one chance and if he ever got busted DUI, we would not bail him out and he would be on his own. Kid appears to have learned a lesson. Tough love can work. I wouldn't sit back and defend him if he got busted and especially if he were responsible for taking someone's life.

I understand that you care about this lady, but how about caring for all the rest of us out there? She must not care about the welfare of others if she chose to drink and drive again. Just the fact that she has decided to drink, after already killing three others, shows her lack of empathy and caring for her fellow man.

jonas_opines 5 years, 2 months ago

"But I am asking for people to realize that she's not any different than any of you... or your friends and family."

You mean, other than deciding that the inconvenience of a $20 cab ride, staying on somebody's couch, or just taking an hour to walk to my home, was more hassle than endangering the lives of other people on the road or the sidewalk, less than a decade after erasing the lives of three people in a graphic, stark, and incontrovertible wake-up call that it CAN happen to you?

Because she IS different from me, and most of my friends and my family. I made selfish, stupid decisions, and without actually hurting people (through luck), I realized that I was GOING to hurt or kill somebody some day, and I stopped. She continues to be so selfish and stupid as to make this decision. So no, we are NOT the same.

jafs 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, she's a bit different from me, since I've never driven while drunk.

You seem to be mixing up who the victims are in this situation - they're the people killed and their families. When somebody drinks and drives, that's not something that "happens" to them, it's a decision they make and an action they engage in.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

If she is your friend, she is an alcoholic, plain and simple. Yes, maybe she needs help, but she sure wasn't rushing to an AA meeting.

windjammer 5 years, 2 months ago

JamesRory why don't you just go away? You are makeing a real fool of yourself and showing your ignorance.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if this is really any different than, say, elderly people who drive with impairments and yet keep driving because their families don't want to take away their independence. Or, perhaps, have to drive them somewhere. The elderly have been know to kill while driving.

My thing is that there are several groups of people who are a menace when they are on the roadways, driving, cycling or walking and they must be dealt with one by one.

I hope that Jennifer goes though an alcohol rehab program in prison and that she has friends and family who are willing to be honest with her and not worry about hurting her feelings, but rather about returning her to society, which includes more than them, as a functioning citizen.

sleepy33 5 years, 2 months ago

One difference is that the elderly are generally not exceeding 100 mph when they drive.

Paul Hahn 5 years, 2 months ago

This is the face of addiction: Someone near you, who is a lot like you, who maybe goes to your church or even teaches at your kid's school. How can she DO this after KILLING before??? This is how: She's not in control of herself the way that you non-addicted people are in control of yourselves. How sick in the head would YOU have to be to do what she did? Pretty sick in the head, right? That's her: Sick. When adequate funding isn't available for treatment, ordinary - but sick - people make these choices over and over again, until they find a way to get the help they need, or die from their addiction, or die in jail.

gatekeeper 5 years, 2 months ago

You know, my dad was an alcoholic while I was growing up. It's a good chunk of why I've never drank too much - I saw the face of addiction. It's also why my entire family doesn't put up with drinking.

BUT, my father never, ever, ever got behind the wheel after he came home and poured his first drink. He was an addict through and through, but also knew right from wrong and didn't endanger anyone but himself. I'm thankful he was a smart drunk.

I don't accept that she's not in control of herself the way non-addicted people are. I fully understand addiction after growing up with it, but feel that too many use it as an excuse. Yes, she is sick to a point. She does still have a brain and knows right from wrong. We don't know if she ever lawfully got her driver's license back. If not, then she definitely knew that just driving was wrong and chose to break the law. If she did, you'd think the years spent in prison, where she would have dried out, might have made her think about getting drunk again. Unless the prison was giving her booze, she had kicked her addiction and chose to go right back to it and endanger others. I have no sympathy for someone that makes that choice and she deserves to be locked up.

gatekeeper 5 years, 2 months ago

I will add that my father kicked his addiction in my late teen years (not by choice, by being ill and in the hospital for some time). He could have easily gotten out and drank again, but he never did. Once his head was totally clear, he knew what his demon was and never put himself in a place where he could have a drink again. This girl could have done that too, but CHOSE to drink again.

tomatogrower 5 years, 2 months ago

JamesRory sounds like an enabler. You have to use tough love with friends and family. You have to call it as you see it. No touchy feely stuff when you are dealing with addiction. For example, if you have someone like this in your family, and they pass out in their own vomit, make sure they aren't going to choke, then leave them there until they wake up. Don't clean them up and put them to bed. If you have a family member who won't take care of their addiction and they live in your house, make them leave, show them where the homeless shelter and LInk kitchen is, and cut the support. It's not easy to do, but most need to hit rock bottom before they can come back up. Her time in prison should have been rock bottom. Taking 3 lives should have been rock bottom. Defending her actions will not allow her to see the errors of her ways, no matter how much guilt she feels. Part of the AA treatment is trying to make amends to those whose life you ruined, including yourself. She hasn't even begun to do this. She has not reached her rock bottom, but others need to be protected from her out of control behavior.

maddoklahoma 5 years, 1 month ago

A loving sweet person? I beg to differ. She was a short tempered vengeful person. She was rude to many who knew her and for the most part treated her mom unfairly. She drank and continued to drink, especially in the tulsa area. She also showed signs of bipolar. SHe would through fits and actually throw objects at people. A great job? SHe worked as a general manager at some cheap hotel and only got that job because they didnt require background checks. She only cared about herself, and if you read the stories about her sentencing she never did ONCE say she was sorry to the family only to the judge. She has no remorse for the human lives she has taken. The biggest part is she told no one of this, just living in the shadows of her evil ways. She gave back to society by running marathons? she did that as exercise because she was a little thinck. It was only a matter of time before she killed someone else, thank the lord that more lives were spared now that she is no longer a threat to society.

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