SUGAR LAND, Texas -

A Fort Bend Circuit Court judge sentenced a 47-year-old man to 18 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to killing a couple in a drunk driving crash.

Roy Armstrong pleaded guilty to two counts of intoxicated manslaughter. According to prosecutors, he drove his Jeep Wrangler the wrong way on U.S. Highway 59 on Feb. 26, 2012, and hit a car with Sheila Cronk and Justin Springer inside.

“Justin Springer and Sheila Cronk were two wonderful young people just starting their adult lives. Justin had returned to college while Sheila had started her new career as a nurse at a rehabilitation hospital,” said prosecutor Sherry Robinson. “We presented evidence that Roy Armstrong had a previous DWI conviction, and that he had admitted to several other alcohol-related problems beginning as early as his teenage years.” 

Because the court ruled that Armstrong’s car was a deadly weapon, he must serve at least half of his sentences before he is eligible for parole.

“With this sentence, Judge [James] Shoemake sent a strong message to those who choose to drink and drive: Your actions can have deadly consequences, and when they do, you will be held responsible,” added Robinson. “Our office wholly endorses that message.”