Milwaukee woman sentenced to 25 years for Mother's Day crash that killed five

Posted at 4:39 PM, Feb 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-19 17:39:28-05

A Milwaukee woman has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for her role in a 2023 Mother's Day crash that killed five people.

The hearing was full of emotion as a judge handed down his sentence for 21-year-old Anteyona Sandifer. In addition to the prison sentence, she'll serve 15 years of extended supervision.

Sandifer was 20 years old at the time of the wreck. Court records show she had never held a drivers license.

"I just want to apologize for my actions," Sandifer said through tears. "I take full responsibility."

Sandifer pleaded guilty after being charged with 11 felonies in connection to the fatal crash. Those counts include four for second-degree reckless homicide, five counts of knowingly operating a vehicle without a valid license causing death and one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

The crash happened near 60th and Fond Du Lac. Police say Sandifer ran a red light and crashed into another car before spinning out and hitting a traffic pole. One child and three teenagers died at the scene, and one man died at the hospital. Investigators stated that Sandifer's blood alcohol concentration was 0.167, more than twice the legal limit. Additionally, Sandifer was driving at least 30 miles over the speed limit.

"That is a heavy burden to bear and I understand that, but that's something you're going to have to wrap your head around before you can safely return to this community," Judge David Swanson told Sandifer.

The victims were previously identified 1-year-old Aniya Robinson, two 15-year-old girls, Mikayla Rattler and Mercedez Brown-Weeks, 17-year-old Israel Williams and 32-year-old Lorenzo Trotter.

​"Took our baby away and it's painful. We have to suffer this every day of our life. She knew better," Reba Beckworth told the court.

Beckworth is 1-year-old Robinson's grandmother.

The victims included Sandifer's relatives. Rattler was Sandifer's sister while 1-year-old Robinson was her goddaughter. The prosecutor added that Brown-Weeks was Sandifer's cousin.

The defense stressed that there was no cruel intent.

"This is an accident. It's combined with intoxicated use, bad decisions, bad driving, but it's considered an accident," defense attorney Scott Anderson argued.

"Ms. Sandifer knew she should not have been driving. She's been cited several times for this type of behavior," said prosecutor Sara Sadowski.

Jennifer Green's nephew, Israel Williams, and cousin, Lorenzo Trotter, were both killed in the crash. She feels the sentence is not enough.

"She wasn't supposed to be driving. She didn't have no license. So at the end of the day she didn't even have the common sense to even make sure these people have seatbelts on or anything," Green says.