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Published: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 @ 1:01 PM
Updated: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 @ 1:01 PM
DETROIT — A Michigan judge last week jailed the mother of a drunken driver for laughing as the victim’s grieving family spoke about the impact his death has had on their lives.
Amanda Marie Kosal, 26, of Redford Township, cried quietly in Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Qiana Lillard’s courtroom on Thursday, as she listened to Jerome Zirker’s sister talk about her brother, who Kosal killed in a drunken driving crash last June.
Kosal’s mother, Donna Kosal, and an unidentified man with her smiled and laughed as they sat in the back of the courtroom, according to WDIV Local 4 News in Detroit. Lillard, who heard their laughter, paused the Zirker family’s victim impact statements to address the behavior.
“It's time for him to go,” Lillard said during the dressing down, which was recorded by the news station and posted to its Facebook page. “And I don't know who he is, but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member…. In the entire time that Mr. Zirker's sister was speaking, that clown -- and that's what I am going to call him, a clown -- was sitting there smiling and laughing.”
She then addressed Donna Kosal.
“And you can go, too. Because if you don't know how to act, you can go to jail,” Lillard said. “So leave. Anybody that can sit there and laugh and smirk….”
She tells a court officer to “take her, she’s going in the back.”
“Anybody else want to go?” Lillard asked the other people in the courtroom supporting Amanda Kosal. “You can go, too. This is a court of law. And these are very serious matters. I understand that you all are very upset because your loved one is going to prison, but guess what? She's going to prison for the choices that she made. These people are here, grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one, and you all are sitting around here like it's a joke?”
“Not in courtroom 502. Not today and not any other day.”
VIDEO: Judge removes 2 people, calls them clowns during local woman's sentencing for deadly DUI crash: http://bit.ly/2lzukSIPosted by WDIV Local 4 / ClickOnDetroit on Thursday, February 23, 2017
Lillard told Donna Kosal she was going to jail for 93 days for criminal contempt as a court officer escorted her out.
The judge’s Facebook page was inundated with praise and support after news of her actions went public. She thanked people for visiting the page and expressing their feelings and assured them that, although she could not respond to each person individually, she had read all of their comments.
“I am honored to have the privilege of serving the citizens of Wayne County,” Lillard wrote.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit this page to express your feelings. I am honored to have the...Posted by Judge Qiana Denise Lillard on Saturday, February 25, 2017
WDIV reported that a tearful Donna Kosal apologized at a hearing before Lillard the following morning.
“I deeply apologize for what I did,” Donna Kosal said, according to the news station. “I was under a lot of stress.”
The judge amended her sentence to one day, with time served, and ordered that she be released from jail.
“What you have to understand is, as hard as this is for you to see your baby going to prison, imagine what that family feels like when their child is dead,” Lillard told Donna Kosal. “I hope that you learned a valuable lesson from this.”
Amanda Kosal was sentenced on Thursday to three to 15 years in prison for the June 23, 2016, crash that killed Zirker, 31, and seriously injured his fiancée. WDIV reported that Kisal admitted she was drunk when the pickup truck she was driving crossed the center line and struck the SUV carrying Zirker and Brittany Johnson, 31, of Inkster.
Kosal pleaded guilty to operating under the influence causing death.
Johnson, who is now a single mother to the couple’s five children, told the news station that Zirker had just picked her up from her job as a caregiver at a group home when the fatal crash occurred. The children were usually with their father when he picked her up, she said.
“Luckily, they were at grandma’s house, or it would have been all of us,” Johnson told WDIV.
Zirker’s mother, Rathel Fizer, told the news station that she would rather see Amanda Kosal free and working to help support her son’s children, since he no longer can.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:43 PM
DAYTON — It’s any parents, and kids, worst nightmare. Strangers, trying to bust down the front door of a dayton home, just minutes after parents left for work, and their 11-year-old kids home alone.
Dayton police have opened an investigation. A security camera on a neighbor’s house on holly avenue in dayton captured the faces of two men, wearing lanyards, going door to door. They avoided homes with visible security cameras.
They moved on to the house where two kids were home alone. They began banging on the front door for approximately ten minutes, according to a Dayton Police report. Then the men began thrusting their shoulders against the door.
"When you do that to our front door, our whole house shakes, so our kids were pretty upset,” said Christina Baine, the children’s mother.
Her two kids never approached or opened the door, just as they were taught.
“After a few times of doing that, he did retreat and leave," added Baine.
Surveillance video is the best lead police have to go on right now. We’ve blurred their faces because they have not been charged with a crime. When we showed the video to neighbors along Holly Avenue, the remembered the men walking the sidewalks and thought they looked suspicious.
Now the Baine family has installed its own security cameras.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 1:34 PM
— A Greenon High School student has been charged in connection with a crash that killed another student in October.
Andrew J. Scott, 16, faces charges of vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter in Clark County Juvenile Court.
Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, a junior, died while a passenger in a car that crashed shortly before 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 17, on Fowler Road between Rebert Pike and Broadway Road in Clark County.
Scott allegedly went off the right side of the road, clipped a telephone pole and then hit another pole, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers said. Scott sustained non-life threatening injuries, troopers said.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 3:19 PM
The auto dealership owner found shot to death inside his business on Monday was a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran who loved horses and cars, according to an online obituary.
Frank D. Buck, 71, and his friend, Lester Golson, 59, were both found dead of apparent gunshot wounds inside of Buck-I Auto Sales after what Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies said was a struggle involving a gun.
Investigators were not searching for anyone after the shooting, believing that the incident was “contained” inside the dealership at 2801 N. Dixie Drive.
Buck operated his car dealership for more than 30 years, the obit said. Services were pending at Newcomer North Chapel, 4104 Needmore Rd. The obit said contributions to help pay for expenses can be made through the funeral home’s website.
Buck is survived by his children, Shelly Buck, Laura Hurst, Candace Buck and Frank DJ Buck, six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, ex-wife Penny Buck and many relatives and friends, according to Buck’s obituary.
“My father was a loving man would do anything in the world for just about anybody, he was loved by a lot he was always smiling, laughing, and joking around,” Candace Buck told this news organization earlier this week. “My condolences are with the Golson family during this very hard time.”
FIRST REPORT: 2 men found shot to death inside auto dealership
Golson’s obituary is not yet available. Efforts to get comment from his family or friends have been unsuccessful.
Buck-I Auto Sales was broken into Jan. 5, 2016, according to a sheriff’s incident report that said one of the windows in an overhead door was smashed.
A friend, not Golson, of Buck’s who was watching the business while Buck was out of town called police. That report said there were no surveillance cameras on the property.
Nearly three weeks later from the first incident, another report said a car was stolen but recovered from the Jan. 5, 2016 crime and that it appeared that the dealership was vandalized again as part of an effort to steal a car. A different stolen car was located in November 2016, according to sheriff’s office incident reports.
“It is my understanding Mr. Buck was putting up cameras,” a Jan. 23, 2016 report read, adding that there were no suspects and no leads.
A woman who tried to get into the business Monday and saw one man point a gun at another then called 911 to report that she saw people get into a “tussle” before she heard three gunshots.
In the sometimes frantic 6-minute call at 1:22 p.m., the woman said, “I was trying to get to my car and get to the phone to call the police then I heard gunshots.”
Deputies investigating the shootings earlier this week did not locate any surveillance cameras at the property.
The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office on Thursday said the two men’s cause and manner of death were still listed as “pending” due to the ongoing investigation.
Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:54 AM
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A father is in custody after police say he intentionally killed his 5-year-old son at a DeKalb County, Georgia, home Wednesday night.
It was not immediately clear what led to the homicide or how the boy was killed.
According to police, the child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive in Lithonia with his grandmother. His parents drove from California for an unannounced visit Wednesday, authorities said.
The boy’s mother and grandmother left the home, returned and “learned that the child had been murdered,” police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told WSBTV.
Police say parents came from California unannounced to visit their five year old son who lived with his grandmother. While the mother and grandmother were out of the house police say the father killed the boy. The mother is cooperating and is not a suspect. pic.twitter.com/6g3rNOgkDO— Carl Willis (@CarlWillisWSB) February 22, 2018
Three other children were inside the home at the time of the killing, but were not injured, the news station reported.
Police have not released the names of the father and child.
"Right now, the father is in custody,” Campbell said. “He is a 25-year-old male.”
Authorities continued to investigate the incident Thursday.