2010: Keller woman to serve 90 days for street-racing death

FORT WORTH -- A Keller woman began serving a 90-day jail term Wednesday as part of her sentence for causing the death of a Watauga woman and seriously injuring her husband while racing another teen in 2007.

Amanda Sykes, 20, and Cody Smith, 22, pleaded guilty in January to racing on a highway and causing the death of Lucy Hart and aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury to John Hart.

Sykes and Smith were offered 10 years' deferred-adjudication probation in exchange for their pleas. If they complete probation, they will have no felony convictions on their records. If they don't, they could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

As a condition of his probation, Smith began serving a 120-day jail term immediately after his plea sentencing in January by 432nd District Judge Ruben Gonzalez.

Gonzalez delayed sentencing for Sykes so that she could complete the spring semester at Northwestern State University of Louisiana, where she has a full academic and music scholarship, prosecutor Lloyd Whelchel said.

Probation conditions usually prohibit defendants from leaving Tarrant County, Whelchel said.

After Sykes completes her 90-day term, however, Gonzalez could allow her to transfer her probation to Louisiana with the approval of officials there.

Whelchel told Gonzalez that John Hart agreed to the plea, although he previously said he wanted Sykes and Smith to serve more time. Whelchel said the aggravated-assault pleas will allow Hart to get help from the state's crime victim compensation fund.

The wreck happened about 9 p.m. Oct. 11, 2007, as John and Lucy Hart were returning to their Watauga home from Walmart. John Hart was driving north on Rufe Snow Drive in North Richland Hills when his 2005 Kia was hit in the front and the back by two cars, one driven by Sykes, the other by Smith.

Lucy Hart was pronounced dead at the scene. John Hart suffered a brain injury and a broken pelvis, ribs and collarbone.

MARTHA DELLER, 817-390-7857