Kirbyville woman convicted of manslaughter in Lumberton sisters' killing loses appeal

Crystal Boyett's appeal of her 2015 manslaughter conviction in the death of two Lumberton sisters was rejected Wednesday by the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont. Boyett was convicted in April 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in the killing of the sisters and an unborn baby in a February 2014 car crash. The crash happened in Lumberton, where police said Boyett's car exceed 120 mph before colliding with an SUV carrying Courtney Ray Sterling, 15, Connely Renee Burns, 20, and Burns' unborn son, Tyson, all of whom were killed. (KFDM file photo)

Crystal Boyett's appeal of her 2015 manslaughter conviction in the death of two Lumberton sisters was rejected Wednesday by the Ninth Court of Appeals in Beaumont.

Boyett was convicted in April 2015 and sentenced to 20 years in the killing of the sisters and an unborn baby in a February 2014 car crash.

She asked the appeals court to dismiss the case against her, or send it back to Hardin County for a new trial based on three issues.

Boyett's appellate attorneys argued District Judge Steven Thomas should have allowed her attorneys more time to review 4,300 pages of medical documents that prosecutors produced just 32 days before trial.

The attorneys also claimed Thomas should have appointed an expert to evaluate her competency before determining she was competent to stand trial.

On her final issue, Boyett's attorneys argued her constitutional right to testify in her defense was violated when her trial attorney refused to allow her to testify.

Beaumont's appeals court issued a 19-page opinion Wednesday rejecting Boyett's appeal.

The crash happened in Lumberton, where police said Boyett's car exceed 120 mph before colliding with an SUV carrying Courtney Ray Sterling, 15, Connely Renee Burns, 20, and Burns' unborn son, Tyson, all of whom were killed.

Boyett, now 43, is assigned to a Texas Department of Criminal Justice unit about a half-hour drive south of Waco, online TDCJ records show.

Read the 19-page opinion in its entirety here.


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