REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – It was an emotional day in court as Judge Qiana Lillard stopped a sentencing hearing after she felt people in the back row of the room were out of line.
Amanda Kosal eventually was sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison for a deadly drunk driving crash this past summer in Redford Township. Kosal, who was 25 at the time of the crash on June 23, admitted she was drunk when her vehicle crossed the centerline of Beech Daly Road near Plymouth Road. She struck an SUV head-on, killing 31-year-old Jerome Zirker and severely injuring his fiancé, 31-year-old Brittany Johnson.
Kosal pleaded guilty last year to operating under the influence causing death. Another charge of operating under the influence causing serious injury was dismissed. She cried in court as the impact statements were read. However, Lillard noticed how some of her family members reacted, and she didn't like it in her courtroom.
"It's time for him to go. And I don't know who he is, but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member ... in the entire time that Mr. Zirker's sister was speaking that clown, and that's what I am going to call him, a clown, was sitting there smiling and laughing. And you can go, too. Because if you don't know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave. Anybody that can sit there and laugh and smirk -- take her, she's going in the back -- anybody else wanna go? You can go, too. This is a court of law. And these are very serious matters. I understand that you all are very upset because your loved one is going to prison but guess what, she's going to prison for the choices that she made. These people are here grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one and you're sitting here acting like it's a joke?"
The woman, identified as Donna Kosal, was taken into custody for criminal contempt. She now has her own court hearing Friday morning, in front of Judge Lillard.
"Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today's proceedings and you, ma'am, are going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days," said Lillard.
Johnson is mother of 5
Johnson is now a single mother of five. She told Local 4 Zirker had just picked her up from her 12-hour shift as a care worker at a group home on the day of the crash. Typically, all five children ride along with their father to pick up Johnson from work.
“Luckily, they were at grandma’s house or it would have been all of us,” Johnson said.
Zirker’s mother, Rathel Fizer, said she didn't want Kosal to go to jail.
“I want her to stay out and help support my grandchildren, because they don’t have a father to take care of them,” Fizer said. “If she goes to prison or jail, I’m taking care of her. I don’t want her to mail a check. I want her to hand-deliver it to them so she can see the faces that she destroyed."