UTAH (ABC4) – A Utah man who pled guilty to intentionally driving the wrong way on I-215, killing a 19-year-old woman, was recommended to at least 20 years in state prison on Tuesday.
Justin Wayne Robertston entered I-215 going the wrong way after taking the wrong transition ramp from southbound I-15 to eastbound I-215, on April 19, 2021.
Robertson crashed into two other cars, injuring two people and killing 19-year-old Gwendolyn Doner. One driver was treated at the scene while another passenger was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.
After the crash, Robertson fled from the scene on foot but police caught up to him a short time later.
Robertson admitted to using methamphetamine and was high at the time. Before getting on the interstate, Robertson also hit a parked police car in Cottonwood Heights.
In August, Robertson accepted a plea deal and pled guilty to murder, negligently operating a vehicle and causing injury/death, failing to stop or respond at the command of police, and failure to remain at an accident involving serious injury, all of which are felonies, as well as several misdemeanors.
In his guilty plea, Robertson said he “had done these things on purpose because he wanted to start something due to being mad” at his life.
As part of the plea, the severity of charges including negligently operating a vehicle and causing injury/death and failure to stop at the command of police were lowered and the infraction of driving the wrong way on a one-way street was dismissed.
Salt Lake County Third District Court Judge Kristine Johnson gave the maximum sentence of one to 15 years for the second-degree felonies of murder and negligently operating a vehicle, and no more than five years for the third-degree felonies of failing to stop at the command of police, failure to remain at the accident, and criminal mischief of intentional damage.
Judge Johnson also ruled on two Class A misdemeanors to receive one-year sentences, a Class B misdemeanor to receive a 180-day sentence and two Class C misdemeanors to receive 90-day sentences.
She also agreed to a stipulation that Robertson serves at least 20 years in state prison.