SASKATOON -- A woman has been handed a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for killing her best friend.

Stacey Stone pleaded guilty for driving over the legal limit causing death and failing to stop after a collision.

On June 6, 2020, Kionna Nicotine, 23, was found dead outside her home.

Court heard it happened after a night of drinking. Stone drove to Nicotine’s home, more than two times over the legal limit, with her two kids in the vehicle.

Stone urged her friend to meet her outside. When Nicotine did, Stone accelerated and hit Nicotine with her car.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Nicotine was stuck under the vehicle. After pulling her friend out, Stone fled the scene.

When she was arrested after the incident, police noted Stone was emotional and remorseful saying, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to hit her with my car. She’s my best friend.”

In a rare moment, before Stone was handcuffed and transported to prison, the victim’s family lined up to hug her.

“We’re not angry with her. From the tragic event she caused, we just want her to do something positive,” Nicotine’s brother, Blaisen Nicotine, said.

In numerous victim impact statements, the family said they hope Stone will devote her life to becoming an advocate against drinking and driving.

In Stone’s final address to the court, she said she would live a life Nicotine would be proud of.

“She was the greatest best friend,” Stone said, sobbing heavily.

Nicotine is being remembered as an advocate for the LGBTQ community. She worked as an educational assistant and lead the school’s gay-straight alliance group — helping many students discover their true self.

“She was really one of a kind. You won’t meet another person like her. That’s what makes it so hard,” Blaisen said.

Judge Sanjeev Anand made his sentencing decision on Tuesday at a Sheraton Hotel conference room, to accommodate for seating.

Aggravating factors for the sentencing included the fact that the accused had her children in the vehicle. The court noted her genuine remorse for the killing as a mitigating factor.

“At the end of the proceedings, we saw the mother of the victim actually embrace Ms. Stone. I think that shows they’re well on their way to healing and forgiveness in the future,” defence lawyer Logan Marchand said.