Melinda’s mother died giving birth to her first and only daughter. Melinda’s mom had been artificially inseminated and intended to raise the child alone. Mindy, as she came to be known by the people in Florida Child Protective Services, possessed an immediate affinity for those around her and her caretakers were quick to note how remarkable this quality was for someone who grew up never knowing their biological parents.

Mindy bounced around foster families for most of her childhood. Despite the volatile nature of her upbringing, she never went through a rebellious phase, always doing what was told of her, excelling in school and eschewing potentially troublesome friends. She would have been valedictorian of her high school outside St. Louis, had she not committed so much of her time to volunteer work, causing a few would-be As to slip to Bs.

Not having a family to support her, Mindy couldn’t get quite enough in scholarships to attend the colleges she wanted. She instead got a job as an administrative assistant and attended community college at night, in the hopes of one day becoming a teacher. Hers is a difficult life but she remains buoyant in her outlook and optimistic in nature.

In September, she will have a late evening of drinking with some classmates. After dropping them off, she will drive home drunk. Less than a mile from her home, her vehicle will strike and kill Rams defensive end Leonard Little.

For her crime, she will receive a mandatory 10 years in a federal prison.