Brian Rosenburg, 22, right, with his attorney, George Gerken, stand before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gary Cook.
The Alcoholics Anonymous meetings he’s attended, the treatment he completed, even his remorse and acceptance of responsibility do not outweigh that Brian Rosenburg was drunk, speeding, and reckless when he got behind the wheel Feb. 14 and killed a Graytown woman, a judge said Wednesday.
Rosenburg, 22, of Rome, Ohio, was sentenced to seven years in prison by Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gary Cook, who also suspended his license for life and ordered him to pay $30,000 in restitution to the family of Judith Crawford, 48.
“How can someone lose their life for doing something so simple and innocuous as sitting at a red light while a car flies into the back of their car at almost 90 mph and the driver is intoxicated to a point three times the legal limit in the middle of the afternoon on a Friday?” Judge Cook asked.
He said Rosenburg had heard about the dangers of drinking and driving all of his young life.
“To say that this is outside your character is to say you ignored everything that was put in front of you for your entire life,” the judge said.
Robert Stanton, oldest son of Judith Crawford, 47, pauses while reading his victim impact statement during the sentencing.
Rosenburg, who last month pleaded no contest to aggravated vehicular homicide, was on Byrne Road Feb. 14 traveling between 80 and 100 mph just before crashing into the rear of a Ms. Crawford’s car, which was stopped at a red light on Byrne at Dorr Street. His sport-utility vehicle also hit a pickup, and Ms. Crawford’s car was pushed into the back of a SUV. She died March 6 — a day after her 48th birthday.
Rosenburg apologized to the victim’s family, saying he was “truly sorry for the pain and the hurt I have caused you. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about what I took from this world — a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a wife. … I never meant for anything like this to happen.”
Ms. Crawford’s oldest son, Robert Staton, asked the court to consider “the untold, unseen charge” against Rosenburg.
“To me that charge is theft. What Mr. Rosenburg has stolen from me and my family cannot be replaced,” Mr. Staton said. “He has stolen the small moments many people take for granted — conversations with a daughter, time spent with a brother or sister to huge milestones like her sons’ graduations, growing into the men she always hoped they’d become to getting married and seeing her future grandchildren.”
Defense attorney George Gerken argued for the minimum sentence of two years in prison, saying Rosenburg had completed alcohol treatment, was taking part in AA meetings, had accepted responsibility for what he did, and had just one misdemeanor conviction on his record.
Judge Cook said Rosenburg’s 2013 conviction for disorderly conduct and intoxication for an incident in downtown Toledo should have been a wake-up call.
“You go to a public event and you get to the point where you’re intoxicated and you have to be arrested and face charges in municipal court,” the judge said. “Sure, it’s a misdemeanor, but it’s also a warning sign about the abuse of substances, the abuse of alcohol, and what’s to come in the future.”
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