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Sentencing begins in fatal DUI case

July 29, 2009 4:33:26 AM PDT
The sentencing hearing began on Tuesday for a woman who killed a mother and her two children in a drunken-driving crash in 2008.Ann Marie Getz pleaded guilty to aggravated DUI in May.

The hearing began on Tuesday afternoon in Morris for Getz, 43, who admitted she was driving drunk at the time she killed Amanda Jahn, and her two children, 11-month-old Caitlin and 3-year-old Ryan.

"Since November it's been difficult every day, and to have it come to a conclusion like this, it doesn't make it any easier because the tears flow every day," said Karen Johnson, Amanda Jahn's aunt.

There was not a dry eye in the courtroom when Amanda's husband spoke and begged that Getz be given the maximum sentence for taking the lives of his wife and two children and leaving "a empty hole in his heart." He said that every night he goes into their bedrooms and he still hears his son, Ryan, say, "I love you, Daddy."

"I felt that the family held it together very, very well. I know it's just as tough today for them as it was the day that the news of the accident came out," said Carolyn Samson, Amanda Jahn's friend.

On November 8, a repeat drunk driver was driving westbound on Gardner Road and ran a stop sign, crashing into the car driven by 27-year-old Amanda. The young woman and her two children died from injuries suffered in the accident.

Amanda's husband Josh talked about how he went to the scene of the accident and held his son, trying to comfort him, and how in the hospital he could see the staff trying to revive his children when he learned has wife at expired at the scene. He said to himself, "I lost all three."

"I know it hasn't gotten easier as time has gone on, and it's been eight months now," said Samson.

Amanda's mother and father told the judge that they lost their oldest daughter, a sweet, loving and gentle soul and their grandchildren and they asked that Getz should get the maximum sentence of 28 years.

"They wanted an example to be made so no one else has to suffer like they have suffered," said Samson.

Getz made a statement on her own behalf, apologizing for what she had done, expressing remorse. Her lawyer, J.D. Flood, said if she could, she would trade places with the victim.

The victim's family said they were hoping the sentencing would take place on Tuesday. They also said it has been a difficult year for them and what has gotten them through the ordeal has been their faith.


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