A New Mexico judge gave a bizarre sentence for Daniel Crane, 50. Crane was accused and found guilty of hitting an 18-year-old girl, Summer Lee, with his car while he was intoxicated. Lee died due to her injuries.
Lee was driving in her SUV when Crane plowed his truck into it. Crane admitted he was guilty of the vehicular homicide and ‘following too closely’.
The judge decided that instead of just giving Crane jail time, he would force Crane to carry around a picture of the girl he killed, as a reminder of what he did at all times.
The Daily Mail reports:
Crane was driving northbound on Interstate 75 in Henry County when his tractor-trailer hit the back of Lee’s SUV and pushed it into five other vehicles, killing her and injuring seven others.
Senior Judge Rusty Carlisle agreed with the state’s recommendations, including a two-year sentence made up of 60 days in jail and the remainder on probation.
But the judge also told Crane he was adding his own condition: Carry around a photo of Lee and a copy of the statement her mother Kimberly read at the hearing for the duration of his probation.
Reading from the pre-written statement, Kimberly told the court: ‘I believe in my heart Summer would want me to forgive you but please know the difference in forgiving and forgetting.
‘I know through my faith I must forgive if I plan on seeing her again when my day comes, so I would like to say I forgive you.’
Carlisle said he was particularly struck when Kimberly Lee said she had forgiven Crane for her daughter’s death.
‘I said to myself, “This fella needs also to be reminded of the fact that she forgave him and of the life that he took”,’ Carlisle said.
‘It may stay folded in his pocket and he may never look at it, but if he knows he’s got to pick it up every morning and put it in the pocket of whatever clothes he wears, then maybe that will make him think a little bit about what happened.’
Lee said in a statement released through the prosecutor’s office that the sentence was ‘appropriate’.
‘We were pleased when the court took an extra step to require the defendant to carry my daughter’s picture with him as well as the statement I read to the court,’ the woman added.
Crane received credit for the jail time he has already served, and been released.