St. Charles Herald-Guide

Woman begs judge not to throw her life away

By Jonathan Menard - November 27, 2013

A woman who police say was drunk when she crashed into another car and killed three people and a fetus, has written a letter to the judge in her case admitting responsibility but pleading with him not to throw her life away.

Jennifer Englade, 41, of LaPlace, was nearly twice over the legal limit when her car crossed a raised median on Airline Highway in St. Charles Parish and was hit by a Honda Civic.

Two people in the Civic, Romishe Mejia-Fequier and Esther Centeno, who was pregnant at the time, were killed.Joshua Jones, who was riding with Englade, also died in the crash.

Englade was arrested in May and is charged with three counts of vehicular homicide, one count of third-degree feticide and one count of vehicular negligent injuring.

Before the crash, Englade had been convicted of three DWIs. Her first two convictions came in St. John Parish in March 1999 and St. Charles Parish in June 1999. She also pled guilty to a DWI charge she received in St. Charles Parish in 2012.

In August, Englade was ruled unfit to stand trial for the fatal crash by both a forensic psychologist and a forensic psychiatrist. On Nov. 8, yet another psychiatrist said Englade appears to be very fragile and unable to withstand the pressure of trial. It was recommended that Englade be placed in the Louisiana Mental Health System to restore competency.

Englade wrote a letter to St. Charles Parish District Judge Emile St. Pierre earlier this month before heading off to what she called the “psych ward.”

In the letter, Englade told St. Pierre that she had a rough life and that she has been an addict since she was 17.

“Please don’t take my life away from me. I have had a rough life, from growing up to losing loved ones,” she wrote. “When I was 11 my mom was hit by a car and killed. My grandparents that raised me died.”

Englade wrote that she would do anything to turn back time to before the fatal crash and that spending time in prison has scared her.

“I’m so sorry for what happened. I’m really not a bad person,” she said. “I’ve never done any time in jail before. I’m very scared!”

She ended the letter by saying that her goal is to renew a relationship with her daughter, who is now 21.

“I’m pleading with you not to take my life away,” she wrote. “I want to change and I know I can.”

According to her psychiatric evaluation, Englade has not had a job since 2008 and has been supporting herself with Social Security disability. She told a psychiatrist that she was able to get benefits because she is depressed and has both anxiety and bipolar disorder.

Woman begs judge not to throw her life away