A drunken driver apologized yesterday in Toledo Municipal Court for an accident that killed an intoxicated woman and seriously injured her niece, who also had been drinking.
Kevin Fuller, 24, of 4207 Asbury Drive offered the apology before he was sentenced to six months in jail.
"My heart goes out to the family and friends on both sides," he added.
Although members of the women's family said they were glad Mr. Fuller received the maximum penalty for the misdemeanor DUI charge, they made it clear they didn't want his sentence modified to work release - a possibility his attorney raised and which the magistrate said he might consider later.
"He doesn't deserve work release. He has to know what jail is," said Cherie Seibers, who was struck during the March 12 accident in East Toledo that killed her aunt, Tammy Shular. Ms. Seibers appeared in court in a wheelchair.
Municipal Court Magistrate David E. Smith ordered Mr. Fuller to immediately serve his sentence in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio in Stryker, Ohio, despite a request by Mr. Fuller's attorney for him to report Monday.
The magistrate also suspended Mr. Fuller's driver's license for three years with occupational privileges; ordered him to attend two alcohol recovery and support meetings a week for three years, and placed him on active community control for a year and inactive community control for two years.
Jay Feldstein, Mr. Fuller's attorney, said he and his client were disappointed the maximum penalty was given. He said the sentence probably won't be appealed because the likelihood of prevailing is "very slim."
Before the sentencing, Glenda Braden, Ms. Shular's sister, told the court she wanted Mr. Fuller to receive the maximum penalty.
"He took our sister's life and tore our family apart," she said.
Mr. Feldstein said Mr. Fuller had no criminal record or prior alcohol offenses and only minor traffic offenses, such as seat belt violations and speeding. He called the situation the night of the Starr Avenue accident "a perfect storm."
Mr. Fuller had a blood-alcohol level of 0.157 percent, nearly twice the legal limit in Ohio for a motorist. Ms. Shular, 40, of Toledo, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.37 percent.
Police said rain and parked cars may have obstructed views. Mr. Fuller, police said, had a green light and the women, who were walking from a bar, had a "Don't walk" signal.
"It was truly an accident in all senses of the word," Mr. Feldstein said.
He said Mr. Fuller made no prior comments per his advice and because of a civil lawsuit Ms. Seibers filed Tuesday against Mr. Fuller in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
After the hearing, Ms. Braden said, "we're still gonna fight this." She said she intended to press prosecutors to return Mr. Fuller's case to a Lucas County grand jury, which in April decided not to indict him on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide and aggravated vehicular assault.
Contact Christina Hall at: