ROYAL OAK, Mich. – A man was sentenced Wednesday in connection with a drunken driving crash that killed a 10-year-old girl in Royal Oak.
It was a difficult day in court for the girl's family, which spoke of her kindness, the loss and the justice they desperately wanted.
Mark Silva was cuffed and led out of the Oakland County courtroom as he prepares to spend the next six to 15 years in prison.
Silva is charged with being drunk in September 2016, when he crashed into a car carrying Lalonni Yharbough and her family.
Lalonni's parents spoke about the loss of their daughter as Silva looked on.
"To know Lalonni is to love her, and we don't have that anymore," her mother said.
"This has been the worst six-seven months of my life," her father said.
"We've been suffering ever since the accident happened," her mother said. "His family can see him, can make phone calls. We have to go to a grave site to see our child."
Lalonni's sister spend months in a coma. She was driving the car that night, and explained Wednesday how the recovery is a daily challenge.
"I'm able to walk, however, I walk around mad and bitter, hiding my scars," she said. "I'm mostly in pain, which has taken a toll on my marriage."
Silva plead no contest to the drunken driving crash along I-75 and I-696, claiming it was a "careless mistake."
"I am truly sorry for the accident I caused," Silva said. "I hope one day you guys do forgive me for all of this."
The judge made it clear Silva's decision to drive drunk was no careless mistake.
"When you drink and you get behind the wheel, it's a deliberate act," the judge said.