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Published: Wednesday, 1/7/2004

Driver s sentence suspended

The mother of Anthony Garcia yesterday forgave Brooke Ann Jeko in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for the alcohol-related accident that killed Mr. Garcia in August.

Ms. Jeko, 20, of 3730 Pickle Rd., Oregon, received a suspended six-month sentence at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, Stryker, and instead was placed on probation for three years by Judge James Bates.

Irene Garcia-Juavez choked back tears as she spoke to Judge Bates about the impact the death of her son has had on her family.

“I do forgive Brooke, but she is not the only one responsible for his death. There were four people in the car. The others could have said stop,” she said. “I do forgive, but I know justice will never be served for the mutilation of my son s body.”

Ms. Jeko pleaded no contest in November to vehicular homicide, a first-degree misdemeanor, for the death of Mr. Garcia who was struck and killed about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 3.

Mr. Garcia of Eastern Avenue was lying in the middle of Broadway near Western Avenue when he was struck and dragged about 900 feet by the car. His blood-alcohol level was 0.38 percent, nearly five times the legal driving limit.

Ms. Jeko said her attention was drawn to a man waving his arms near the victim. She said she did not see the victim until just before she struck him. The bystander fled.

But Ms. Jeko, who had been drinking at a party, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.045 percent and can t legally drink alcohol in Ohio.

Before she was sentenced, a sobbing Ms. Jeko turned to Ms. Garcia-Juavez and other family members and apologized.

Judge Bates said the alcohol in Ms. Jeko likely contributed to her response in dragging the body for a long distance.

Judge Bates also suspended Ms. Jeko s operator s license for one year, fined her $500, and ordered her to pay restitution of $3,629 to the victim s family for funeral expenses.

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