Woman known worldwide for smiling mugshot assigned to women’s prison in Ocala

Angenette Marie Welk’s initial Marion County Jail booking mugshot from May 10, 2018.

A woman who gained worldwide notoriety last year for her smiling mugshot following a horrific crash that left another woman clinging to life for four days has been assigned to a Florida prison.

Angenette Marie Welk, 45, has been sent to Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala. She had been housed at the Florida Women’s Reception Center after being sentenced in May to 11 years behind bars in connection with the death of Sandra Clarkston, of Sarasota.

Welk was first arrested in May 2018 after a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of NW 60th Avenue and U.S. Hwy. 27. Her 2011 Chevrolet Avalanche slammed into the back of a 2017 Hyundai Elantra driven by 18-year-old Shiyanne Kroll, of Seattle. The impact pushed the front of Kroll’s car partially underneath a horse trailer that was being pulled by a 2016 Freightliner semi-truck driven by 65-year-old Kevin McMinn, of Ocala.

Angenette Marie Welk sobs as she addresses the members of Sandra Clarkston’s family in a Marion County courtroom in May.

Kroll and her mother, who was riding as a passenger in the front seat of the Hyundai, were transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center. Clarkson was critically injured, while Kroll’s injuries were classified as minor. Neither McMinn nor Welk were injured in the crash.

Following the crash, Welk’s blood alcohol content was registered at .172 and .165 – both twice the legal limit in Florida. She was arrested and charged with one count of driving under the influence with serious bodily harm and two counts of DUI with property damage.

Keonna Sciacca and her mother, Sandra Clarkston.

Clarkston succumbed to her injuries four days after the crash and Welk, who had just gotten married to Eric Missett, was arrested again and charged with DUI manslaughter. She was released on $30,000 bond while awaiting her trial.

Welk moved to Washington State in December 2018 but was back behind bars this past March after Judge Steven G. Rogers revoked her bail following a review of medical records from treatment she sought in February. She remained there until her sentencing on May 16.

Stevens also ordered Welk, who explained the smiling mugshot as being caused by nervousness and fear, to write an essay each year on what she’s learned since the day of the deadly crash. And he put on her on probation for 15 years.

Before Stevens’ sentence was handed down, Welk, who was represented by attorney Stacy Youmans – who was appointed as a circuit judge in July – addressed Clarkston’s family.

“I’d like to start by saying how terribly sorry I am for the tragic loss that you are suffering,” she sobbed. “I hope and pray that one day you’ll find it in your heart to start to forgive me.”

In May, Daniel Clarkston brought the 2017 Hyundai Elantra that his twin sister, Sandra, was riding in when she was fatally injured to a court hearing. Angenette Marie Welk, whose blood alcohol content was more than twice the legal limit, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for causing that crash.

Members of Clarkston’s family didn’t appear to be moved by the gesture.
“I don’t see no remorse over it,” said Sandra Clarkston’s twin brother, Daniel, while referring to his sister as a “beautiful” person.

“Since this happened, I lost a piece of me that I will never get back,” added Clarkston’s daughter, Keonna Sciacca. “The grief, pain and emptiness will never end. I have nothing but anger in me.”

Sandra Clarkston’s daughters, Shiyanne Kroll and Keonna Sciacca, and her twin brother, Daniel, testified during Angenette Marie Welk’s sentencing hearing in May.

Kroll, who at one point was in tears, said she was happy to see Welk sentenced to 11 years behind bars, but she added that it will never take away the way she feels or the terrible memory of the crash.

“I will never, ever forgive her for anything, and I hope that she thinks about her actions every day that she serves her time,” she said.

Youmans had asked Stevens to recommend that Welk serve her time at Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, but he reminded her that he had no say in that decision. Instead, she was sent to the medium security facility at 11120 NW Gainesville Road in Ocala and is scheduled to be released on March 7, 2030.

Angenette Marie Welk’s Marion County Jail booking mugshots from March 29 and May 19, and her Florida Corrections Department photo from June 4.