Mother of Drunk Driver in Deadly Crash Sent to Jail for Laughing at Victim's Family in Court

Amanda Kosal / AP
February 28, 2017

The mother of a woman being sentenced to prison for killing a person and severely injuring another in a drunk driving accident was thrown in jail for smiling and laughing in court on Friday.

The victim's family was reading statements describing the impact the crash has had on them when Judge Qiana Lillard of the Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan heard laughing from the family of Amanda Kosal, who admitted to killing a father of five and seriously injuring his fiancee, CBS News reported Tuesday.

Kosal, 25, said she killed Jerome Zirker, 31, and severely injured his fiancee, Brittany Johnson, 31, while driving drunk and causing a head on collision this past summer.

Lillard paused the victim's family to reprimand those who laughed and throw Kosal's mother in prison.

"Whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member," she said. "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."

She then singled out Kosal's mother, Donna.

"Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today's proceedings and you, ma'am, are going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days," the judge said.

She warned the rest of the courtroom that should such behavior continue, she would send more people to jail.

Lillard also addressed the rest of Kosal's family directly.

"This is a court of law, and these are very serious matters," she said. "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?"

Lillard reiterated that this would not be acceptable in her courtroom.

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

The mother apparently apologized when she reappeared in Lillard's court on Friday and reportedly got her sentence reduced to one day, time served.

Amanda Kosal was sentenced to three to 15 years in prison.

Published under: Drunk Driving