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People React To Judge Jailing Drunk Driver's Mom For Laughing At Victim's Family

Caitlyn Clancey 14 Feb 2020

When Judge Qiana Lillard heard giggles coming from the back of her courtroom during an emotional DUI hearing, she refused to sit back and ignore it.

As CBS reported, the mother of the drunk driver was thrown in jail after she was caught laughing while the victim's family read their impact statements.

Michigan native Amanda Kosal, 25, admitted she had been driving while intoxicated when her car struck an SUV head-on.

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While Kosal was able to walk away from the crash, the driver from the other vehicle, 31-year-old father-of-five Jerome Zirker, was killed in the crash, and his fiancée, 31-year-old Brittany Johnson, was severely injured.

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At her hearing, Kosal pleaded guilty to operating under the influence causing death.

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Another charge of operating under the influence causing serious injury was dismissed by the judge.

She was sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison.

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During the hearing, Zirker's family members were given the chance to read their impact statements.

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That was when Lillard heard laughter coming from the back of the courtroom, and interrupted the victim's family in order to kick out the two people, a man and a woman, responsible for the inappropriate display.

The woman was Kosal's mother, Donna.

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Lillard called the man who she had caught laughing during the trial a "clown."

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As she told the court,

“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."

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Directing her attention to Donna, Lillard told her that she "can go, too."

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“Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail," the judge said. "So leave.”

Donna, who was escorted out of the courtroom by a bailiff, was sentenced to 93 days in jail for contempt of court.

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After the pair had left the courtroom, Lillard said anyone else who "laughed or smirked" during the hearing would be joining Donna in jail.

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“This is a court of law, and these are very serious matters,” she explained to the remainder of Kosal’s family. “I understand 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?”

“Not in Courtroom 502," she continued. "Not today and not any other day."

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Just a few days later, Donna appeared back in court and apologized to the judge for her behavior.

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Her sentence was then reduced from 93 days' jail time to one day, served.

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A video showing the incident in court has since gone viral online.

On YouTube, the video has over 1 million views and thousands of comments from people who are stunned by Donna's inappropriate behavior.

"This is what lack of empathy looks like," one user wrote. "Kudos to the Judge for her quick action against this garbage woman."

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In addition to condemning Donna's actions, users have praised Lillard for her own.

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"Now that's a judge," this user wrote. "Oh that was so satisfying to watch."

Another added, "Finally a SMART judge who's for the people of the victims. Way to go judge."

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After the video went viral, Lillard took to her Facebook page to thank everyone for their kind words and support.

Facebook | Judge Qiana Denise Lillard

As she wrote,

"Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to visit this page to express your feelings. I am honored to have the privilege of serving the citizens of Wayne County.”

h/t: CBS

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