GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Feet and hands shackled, Amanda Sperduti entered the Guilford County Courthouse. If her attorney has his way those chains will soon be gone.
Sperduti was sentenced to a minimum of seven years in prison after prosecutors said she drove drunk and hit a tree on Feb. 13, 2010, in Browns Summit -- killing the other three occupants of her mother's 2008 Acura.
But Thursday, Sperduti's attorney JD Byers said he doesn't believe his client was the driver after all.
Byers told a judge Thursday that he thinks accident reconstruction, along with DNA evidence, would prove Sperduti was not behind the wheel. But Byers claims the state illegally destroyed evidence before the required three-year time period, and without alerting his client.
Byers explained that if the judge finds the state is in violation of the law in its discarding of evidence, the judge has a wide array of remedies he could pursue.
"I ask that her sentence be modified and that she be released from prison," Byers said.
Byers also said a crucial piece of evidence is the car keys -- but there is no record of what happened to them.
"We don't know what happened to the car keys," Byers said. "We don't know. They could contain DNA that would show, give us a better idea of who was driving the car."
Sperduti has served about five-and-a-half years of her seven-year minimum sentence. She took a plea deal in 2011 for three charges of felony death by vehicle.
Sperduti, then 20 years old, and the three other occupants in the car all had blood alcohol levels over the legal driving limit. Only one of the cars' occupants was over the age of 21.