A Georgia woman accused of causing the drowning deaths of two best friends has been sentenced. According to WRDW, 32-year-old Shontover Kirkland’s conviction comes more than a year after Eynn Wilson and Edward Kirk died.
Authorities said Kirkland initially pushed Kirk off a boat before Wilson jumped in to attempt to save him. Kirkland was charged with reckless conduct and two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the fatal incident. The accused woman pleaded guilty last Tuesday.
A Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent took the stand to recount the fatal incident before Kirkland’s sentence. “We had to relive this whole devastating incident all over again,” Kirk’s sister, Lakesha Johnson, said.
Videos of the fatal incident were circulated on social media, and authorities were notified about it. “It pierced my soul,” Johnson added.
Authorities said 18 people had gathered for a birthday on two boats when the incident happened. The boats, which were tied together, were rented by Kirkland. Kirk was said to be standing near a woman when Kirkland allegedly pushed the two of them off the boat. The woman was in a life jacket at the time. And though the people at the party knew the woman did not know how to swim, they were unaware Kirk couldn’t.
Wilson jumped into the water after his best friend and the woman were pushed. Both men drowned after they struggled in the water. And attempts by people to save the two men proved futile.
“There are so many lives impacted just off one person’s actions, and she has to live with that,” Johnson said.
Kirkland, who received a 10-year probation sentence, will serve the first twelve months of that sentence in jail.