She drove drunk and caused a crash that killed a man. Now she’s going to prison.

Alexandria Ray Rankin
Alexandria Ray Rankin

A woman who killed a 23-year-old man while driving drunk last fall was sentenced Thursday to serve seven years in prison for manslaughter.

Alexandria Ray Rankin read a letter before being sentenced in Fayette Court on Thursday afternoon and apologized to the family of Robert Spencer Hatler, of Winchester. Rankin was drunk on Nov. 11 when she ran a red light at Athens Boonesboro Road and Hays Boulevard and struck Hatler’s truck.

“I no longer picture my future anymore, without realizing Robert no longer has his,” Rankin said. “I have a responsibility to talk about it in the hopes that others can avoid following in my footsteps.”

Rankin pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and driving under the influence on Sept. 1.

Rankin’s lawyers had asked for probation, but Fayette Circuit Court Judge Ernesto Scorsone said he could not allow her to avoid time in jail. Rankin has no previous criminal charges, and she does not have a drug or alcohol problem. She made the wrong decision, but that decision cost Hatler his life, Scorsone said.

“I am convinced that you are a fine person and that this is not a pattern,” Scorsone said. He said probation would “undermine the seriousness of this loss of life.”

In addition to the seven years for manslaughter, Rankin was sentenced to 30 days on the DUI charge.