13-year-old girl tells court about loss of mother at woman’s drunk driving sentencing

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DENVER — At 13-years-old her late mother’s wisdom is all Dyrah Duncan is left with.

“Just because one person dies in your life, doesn`t mean you can`t stop living,” Duncan said.

As she watched Victoria Barry hide her face as she entered the courtroom, thoughts of what she would say inside court raced through her mind.

“I don`t have a mom anymore. She took away my mom. She took away even my mom`s life.”

Facing her will not be easy. But with her grandmother by her side, Dyrah told the judge about life since that night.

“I know she`s never coming back. My mom was killed on May 13, 2011 by a drunk driver,” Duncan said as she addressed the court.  

She was talking about May of last year when Barry drove the wrong way on I-25 near Downing, causing the devastating wreck that killed the 31-year-old mother. A jury convicted Barry, and today was her last chance to defend herself.

“I wake up every morning asking myself that question why I am still here. But I have to believe it`s to be an instrument to help others,” Barry said in court.

What struck onlookers, many who cried throughout, is that in a 14-minute plea, Barry never said the words, “I’m sorry.”

“I had my life as I knew it taken away from me on May 14th and my future. Whether I have a future is in your hands,” she said.

A judge sent Barry to prison for 10 years and she was taken away in handcuffs. It’s a lot for someone so young to fully understand. And Dyrah will likely spend her whole life trying.



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