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Lexy Bertrand's mother speaks after Kelvin Roy's murder sentencing

Updated: Friday, August 29 2014, 02:03 AM CDT
ORANGE - by Haley Bull

An Orange County jury decided on a 75-year sentence for Kelvin Roy Thursday afternoon after a four day long trial. The panel convicted the 32-year old Wednesday of murder for the death of Lexy Bertrand.

The conviction stems from a crash Feb. 7th in Vidor on Old Highway 90. Bertrand, 16, and her mother were in a minivan stopped at a red light, on their way to get a Valentine's gift for a boy Lexy liked. Roy deliberately crashed into the van in an effort to hurt his girlfriend who was a passenger in the car with him. Bertrand died one day later.

Roy could have received five years to life in prison and up to a $10,000 fine. When the judge read the sentence of 75 years, Roy briefly closed his eyes, gave a small shake of his head and looked away.

His attorney, Malachi Daws, argued for leniency. Daws asked the jury for a 20-year sentence, the maximum possible sentence for a manslaughter charge. Assistant District Attorney Krispen Walker asked the jury for a life sentence, the maximum possible sentence for Roy's murder charge.

The jurors ultimately chose 75 years after what the judge called "an emotionally draining trial," over a crash and loss of a young life that has impacted the entire community.

"While there will always be holes in our heart and a void in our lives we feel that justice has been served," April Bertrand, Lexy's mother, said after the sentence was read.

She put her loss into words for jurors and her daughter's killer during testimony and a victim's impact statement on the final day of the trial.

"Lexy was such a bright and shining spirit that she affected everyone around her," Bertrand told the courtroom. She described all the holidays, birthdays and milestones she and her daughter will never see, and how the loss of the teen has impacted Lexy's younger siblings.

"For the beautiful light and presence of good that she brought everyone she encountered, as a mother I will never overcome the loss of my first born and only daughter," Bertrand said.

Bertrand told jurors about Lexy's wish to be a nurse and an organ donor. "She was able to fulfill her last wish to become an organ donor," she told jurors.

"The things she did in her 16 years we learned will impact some others in theirs lives as an organ donor. Her choice to donate her organs has saved at least four people and given them another chance at life, a chance Lexy didn't have," Walker said after the trial.

The chance was taken away after Roy drank, smoked marijuana, took PCP, got behind the wheel and crashed a car into the Bertrand's minivan in an attempt to injure his girlfriend. Roy's girlfriend claimed he became enraged and said he wanted to kill them both.

"There are so many people that could have been tragically affected, killed by this defendant and the actions that he took that evening," Walker said.

Walker pointed to Roy's lengthy criminal history, including assault and drug use.

"Obviously nothing is helping, nothing is making a difference. He's a threat to our community and he needs to go away for life," Walker argued to jurors. "This isn't just a mistake the defendant made on one occasion this is his lifestyle."

Walker teared up when she showed jurors a picture of Lexy's brothers with the teen, and then without.

"There's something missing that's never coming back," she said.

Roy's sister, who raised him, and brother took the stand for the defense. Both said Roy needed to be held responsible and described how his drug use changed him, but asked the jury for leniency, maintaining Roy wouldn't intentionally hurt anyone and could be rehabilitated.

"He makes bad decisions. Using the drugs, that was a bad decision to make, I'm not gonna say he's been the model citizen because he hasn't," Roy's sister told jurors, "But deep inside Kelvin is actually a good person."

"We believe he was so intoxicated and impaired he did not know what he was doing and that he passed out before the wreck," Daws said. He pointed to conflicting stories between Roy and his girlfriend.

"He was obviously disappointed that it was a murder conviction probably because he believes in his heart that he never tried to intentionally hurt anyone, so he was disappointed," Daws said about Roy. "He's just really sorry about these events, he's just always shown a lot of remorse."

April Bertrand addressed Roy during her victim impact statement. "I hope and pray that Kelvin can take this horrific act to heart and realize the errors in your ways," she said.

The jury convicted Roy of murder for the loss of a teen described as a bright and shining spirit.

"These people are still dealing with the aftermath of what he did, not just Lexy's family but the entire community as well," Walker said, describing the impact the loss of Lexy has had on family members, witnesses and the Vidor community.

"We cannot thank everyone enough for all of their support emotionally, materially and spiritually. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful community," April Bertrand said.

Roy will be assigned an appellate attorney. Daws said he believed Roy would appeal, but that it could change. Roy would be eligible for parole after serving 30 years of his sentence.
Lexy Bertrand's mother speaks after Kelvin Roy's murder sentencing

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