PEARLAND, Texas - A former educator-turned-stripper was convicted last week of killing a Pearland Police officer in a DWI-related crash.
That officer’s widow is now sharing her thoughts for the first time since the trial’s conclusion.
“There’s no way of fully explaining how much pain this has caused the family,” Lucy Ekpanya said.
A photo of her husband, Enby Ekpanya, was on display next to where his widow spoke.
“I have a 3-year-old at home who’d never going to know what having a father is like because a drunk driver took his life,” Ekpanya said.
A jury found 40-year-old Amber Willemsen guilty of intoxication manslaughter before sentencing her to 32 years in prison. Her blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit when she slammed head-on into Officer Ekpanya’s cruiser last June.
The former assistant principal-turned-dancer had been drinking at the strip club where she worked.
“If somebody is not OK to drive, and if you notice, please help,” Ekpanya said. “If you’re not OK to drive and have some type of mindset to realize that, please stop.”
A MADD representative and others stood by Ekpanya as she discussed the case and life without the father whose death their son doesn’t fully comprehend.
“It’s very tough at home when he looks at pictures of his father and tells me, 'Mommy, I want him,'” Ekpanya said. “That’s a very tough thing to have to live with.”
The couple bought a new home just months before Officer Ekpanya’s death. His widow said its undecorated rooms are reminders of things that were yet to come, including plans for another child.
“If I did not have my son, I honestly would feel like I have nothing to live for,” Ekpanya said.
Ekpanya has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the strip club where Willemsen worked. Meanwhile, the Houston Police Department has launched an internal investigation into a previous crash involving Willemsen. Witnesses say she was drunk, yet she wasn’t charged.