STILLWATER, Okla. – An Oklahoma woman who crashed into a crowd of onlookers in 2015 will spend much of her life behind bars.
Authorities said Adacia Chambers drove her car into an unmanned police motorcycle before plowing straight into the crowd of onlookers during Oklahoma State’s homecoming parade on Oct. 24, 2015.
In all, authorities said four people were killed and 46 others were injured in the crash.
Officials said 2-year-old Nash Lucas, 23-year-old Nikita Nakal, 65-year-olds Dr. Marvin and Bonnie Stone were all killed in the crash.
On Tuesday, Chambers accepted a plea deal and pleaded no contest to four counts of second-degree murder and 39 counts of assault and battery.
Chambers will be sentenced to four concurrent life sentences and 10-years for each assault charge, which will also run concurrently.
Officials say she must serve 85 percent of her sentence.
On Tuesday afternoon, Chambers’ attorney, Tony Coleman, spoke publicly about the plea deal.
“First and foremost, extend our heartfelt condolences to the families and to the victims that were lost during this tragic incident. We continue to be prayerful for those that are recovering and that will be continuing to recover for, what it appears to be from what we heard today, years to come from some of the emotional harm that was caused,” Coleman said.
Coleman says that while some people may have felt like this was a planned attack, he says the case centers on mental illness.
“I think we all should be concerned as to why this happened,” Coleman said.
Coleman says he wants the public to pressure legislators to make mental health a priority in Oklahoma.
He says his client has been on medication for the last 15 months, but he is concerned about the mental health system in the state.
“We know that oftentimes, we don’t become aware of a lot of problems that individuals have until they become a part of the criminal justice system,” Coleman said. “Mr. Chambers is here and he will tell you that prior to Adacia being charged with this crime, they tried repeatedly to get her help, multiple hospitals they took her to. Ms. Chambers was subjected to wrong medications, she was experimented on in many instances as Dr. Roberson will expound and help us better understand that. And in some instances, she was outright refused. And it wasn’t until an incident of this magnitude happened, then now, all of a sudden, she’s got this wonderful blend of meds that has her stable. It’s a sad state of affairs that we had to go here before she got the help that she needed. But we’ve got to do something, and we’ve got to do something fast.”
Dr. Shawn Roberson said that when he examined Chambers after the crash, she was in a manic state. He said her moods would switch from being excitable and laughing to sobbing hysterically within a minute. He said that he administered tests to determine if Chambers was faking a mental illness, but he said it was clear that she wasn’t.
In fact, he says detention officers reported that she would be completely disorganized, laughing, sobbing and would be confused often. Robinson says that once she was placed on medication, she was rational and was able to communicate.
Chambers’ father says he wants to fight to get the laws changed so more focus is put on mental health issues. For years, Floyd Chambers says he took Adacia to several different doctors and facilities. However, he says funding was low for the programs, so they were turned away because experts didn’t believe Adacia was a threat to herself or others.
For two years, he says Adacia seemed fine and then everything came crashing down on Oct. 24, 2015.
As for the trial, Coleman says it was “extremely imperative” that Chambers was able to plead no contest to the charges.
He says that Adacia Chambers was extremely remorseful, and didn’t want to put the families of the victims through a trial or cause them more pain.
Chambers’ father says that he hopes that no other parent goes through the same thing.
“There’s not enough words to express after hearing the statements I’ve heard today, there’s just not enough words to say how I feel for them. It’s a very sorry, some of them even said they didn’t want to hear sorry. But I don’t know of any other word to use but it’s from the bottom or my heart. My heart goes out to those victims and I hope they have a speedy recovery for those who were injured and that they don’t let the loss of loved ones bring them down in life,” Chambers’ father, Floyd Chambers, said.