Drunk Driver's Mother Laughs in Court at Dead Victim's Family

By Bryan Le 02/27/17

The mother of a drunk driver was punished by a Detroit judge after an insensitive interruption in court.

Drunk Driver's Mother Laughs in Court at Dead Victim's Family
Laughing at a drunk driving victim’s death will get you judged—and sentenced, if you’re in court.

The mother of a drunk driver was thrown in jail for laughing during a testimonial from the family of the man her daughter killed while drunk driving.

Last June, 25-year-old Amanda Kosal drove drunk and killed Jerome Zirker, a father of five. At her sentencing in a Detroit court, Zirker’s sister was making a statement when Kosal’s mother, Donna, and her boyfriend began laughing and smiling.

Judge Qiana Lillard did not find their inappropriate interruption funny. Judge Lillard then ordered the boyfriend to leave the courtroom.

“It’s time for him to go … Whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member, I mean 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.”

Donna followed her boyfriend out of the courtroom, but was brought back in to speak with Judge Lillard, who sentenced her to 93 days in jail for contempt of court.

“Oh, my mouth?” Judge Lillard retorted during an exchange with Donna. “Well, thank you, your mouth got you 93 days.”

Turning back to the court audience, she continued: “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?”

After a night in jail, Donna returned to court and asked the judge for forgiveness. “I deeply apologize for what I did. I was under a lot of stress,” Donna pleaded.

Lillard accepted the apology and cut Donna’s sentence by 92 days, but not before doling out another lesson to Donna.

“What you have to understand is as hard as this is for you to see your baby going to prison, imagine what that family feels like when their child is dead,” Judge Lillard said. “I hope that you learned a valuable lesson from this.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter