Joyce Zamaga, 45, accepted a plea deal and went to prison for 18 years after she let her teenage daughter drive before crashing and killing her two youngest children.
Zamaga pleaded no contest to two counts of aggravated manslaughter of a child.
The seven other felonies Zamaga faced were dropped, but she will have to live without her two youngest children for the rest of her life.
Zamaga went before a judge on Monday.
“Is that what you wanted to take today?” – asked the judge.
“Yes, sir,” Zamaga replied.
In August 2021, Zamaga forced her 14-year-old daughter to get behind the wheel of a minivan.
Her daughter was going to drive from Immokalee to Lehigh Acre with Zamag in the passenger seat and drink beer.
All this while four other children were sitting in the car, unbuckled.
They were then hit by another vehicle on State Route 82.
Her two youngest daughters, 4-year-old Flor and 3-year-old Pilar, died in the crash.
Malcolm Godwin, Zamaga’s attorney, explained how Zamaga is trying to cope with not living with his younger daughters.
“She is already trying to recover from it. She’s been taking several counseling classes for the past year,” Godwin said.
Godwin told WINK News that part of accepting the plea was to ease the pain of her surviving children.
“She didn’t want her children to go through a trial where they might have to be witnesses,” Godwin said.
“They will miss their mother. It was a tragic event. And I think they’re all suffering from this tragic event,” Godwin said.
After Zamaga serves time in prison, she will receive ten years of probation.
Zamago will also have to complete more than 100 hours of community service with a victim impact team to learn about the dangers of reckless driving.