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Families of victims speak as Utah teen sentenced for deadly crash

Posted at 8:45 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 22:45:16-04

WEBER COUNTY, Utah -- A Utah teenager who admitted to killing two people with her car will spend the next several years in juvenile detention.

Wednesday, a judge sentenced Marilee Gardner to four years in detention before she will move to the adult prison system to serve time there.

Prosecutors say Marilee intentionally crashed into the back of a car sitting at a stop light in an attempt to kill herself.  She survived, but the occupants of the other car, 20-year-old Madi Haan and 19-year-old Tyler Christianson, were killed.

Marilee was 16 at the time of the crash, which occurred in June of  2016. Her attorneys worked out a deal where she will split time in the youth and adult systems. The victim’s families worry her sentence won't be harsh enough.

“I’m sick and tired of Marilee being played the victim: She is not a victim. She is a heartless, cold murderer. Nothing will ever change that in my eyes,” said Dennis Christianson, Tyler’s grandfather.

Marilee will also be sentenced in the adult system, where she faces three years to life on that charge. She pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder each in juvenile and adult court, and as part of that plea deal murder charges against the teen were dropped.