Judge Qiana Lillard was having none of it when a drunk driver’s mother laughed at a victim’s family during a deadly DUI sentencing on Friday.
Lillard was livid when she heard the family of 25-year-old Amanda Kosal giggling during the impact statements from the families of Jerome Zirker, who was killed when Kosal hit an SUV head-on while drunk, and Brittany Johnson, Zirker’s fiance, who was severely injured in the crash.
“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,” said Lillard as she paused the impact statements to scold the man and woman who had been laughing.
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She then turned to Kosal’s mother, Donna.
“And you can go, too,” she added. “Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave.”
“This is a court of law, and these are very serious matters,” she explained to 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. Not today and not any other day.”
Video of the courtroom showed Kosal’s mother being escorted from the court as the judge declared her to be in criminal contempt.
“Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today’s proceedings and you, ma’am, are going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days,” Lillard told the woman as she was led away.