Judge: Teen previously sentenced in deadly texting-while-driving - FOX Carolina 21

Judge: Teen previously sentenced in deadly texting-while-driving crash violated probation

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Rachel N. Gannon Rachel N. Gannon
Loretta Larimer Loretta Larimer
PLATTE CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Judge Abe Shafer said he was disappointed in Rachel N. Gannon for being back in his court four months after she was put on probation for killing a woman while texting and driving. Thursday, his ruling was not as lenient.

"There's no excuse for my wrongdoing and I'm not going to sit up here and make excuses for myself. But I want to apologize to you and the court and to my probation officer," Gannon said in court.

The teen threw herself on the mercy of the court as she attempted to explain away probation violations that landed her back in the hot seat and frustrated prosecutors who previously worked out a deal to keep Gannon out of jail. In May, a judge sentenced the teen to two days of shock time in jail and house arrest for the summer after she pleaded guilty to causing a September 2011 deadly collision. She was also sentenced to completing extensive community service and wasn't allowed to get a driver's license again until she graduates from high school.

"I'm surprised and I'm frankly stunned that, in the face of what was a very lenient disposition of her case, that she has responded with multiple violations," Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said.

Gannon, 17, admitted in court that she moved in with boyfriend on her 17th birthday, quit her job and drank alcohol - all violations of the probation she received for killing 72-year-old Loretta Larimer and seriously injuring her granddaughter while texting and driving last year.

Gannon's attorney struggled to explain his client's willful disregard of her sentence.

"Kids at that age do stupid things. They make impulsive decisions, decisions influenced by peer pressure, decisions that are just what you and I would do," Attorney Brian Gaddy said.

But in the end, the judge sent Gannon back to jail for a year.

"You have intentionally disregarded the directions and not abided by the directives and requirements of probation," Shafer said to Gannon.

Gannon could be spending more time in jail. In December the judge will rule on the disposition of the manslaughter charge which could result in a four year sentence.

Click here for previous coverage on Gannon.

Missouri has a texting ban for drivers 21 and younger. In Kansas, all drivers are banned from texting and driving and drivers with learner's permits are banned from talking on cell phones too.

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