2011-03-03 / Front Page

Heart-wrenching testimony precedes manslaughter sentence


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Wow...I had been feeling

Wow...I had been feeling homesick for Mariposa until I read this...such persecution a fellow human being... may the spirit of forgiveness wash over all of you... Forgive them Father for they know not what they do... I hope these letters are an unbalanced reflection of the love and support this young woman is getting from others. No wonder she is having a hard time apologizing to the family...they are too busy whipping her... Jesus too took the persecution, and though he turned the other cheek, he didn't feel the need to apologize to the haters.

actually she had plenty of

actually she had plenty of time to apologize before she was in court.

She had plenty of time to

She had plenty of time to apologize before court. When? When she spent weeks in the hospital recovering from her own life threatening injuries? Or in between hate messages from the family? She was advised to say nothing soon after the accident. So this plenty of time you speak of, in your perfect world, never existed. And may have existed, if forgiveness also existed. So please, a week later and you are still commenting. Go watch a sunset, go read a book. Enjoy the wonderful weather. Thank God for the things you have. Find peace. Please.

There was a facebook post of

There was a facebook post of Marissa and her friend attending the madera fair few weeks after the accident. Its pretty hard fighting for your life when your at a fair. So there has been time for an apology.

Thank you, I couldn't have

Thank you, I couldn't have said it any better.

JUST LET THE FAMILY LIVE IN

JUST LET THE FAMILY LIVE IN PEACE... TO THE GAZETTE... YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!! THERE HAVE BEEN PLENTY OF OTHER SITUATIONS SIMILAR IN THIS COUNTY AND HAVE YET FOR A STORY TO BE SO ONE SIDED. THIS WAS AN ACCIDENT PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!!

I am Michael and Deana's

I am Michael and Deana's Aunt. I have seen first hand the suffering this horrible accicdent has caused. Yes a simple I AM SORRY!! would have made all the difference in the world. Yes! at 18 you are young,but also at 18 you do know the difference between right and wrong and it was JUST WRONG not to apologize.I don't care what her attorney said, just to turn and say I am sorry.Then at that point it would have been up to the families to accept it or not.. The little word SORRY is a BIG next step in grieving. Yes things happen in this world that our out of our control, but this wasn't one of those things this accident. So lets hope at this point we all can let things rest. So our love ones can Rest in Peace.. WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE THEM.. ALWAYS.

When I got the news I was so

When I got the news I was so upset,angry and was in the dark...when I found out what happened and that she had hit them on their motorcycle I was in shock and so sick to my stomach and i honestly felt bad for marissa because I thought about how many times I have been distracted while driving and how that could have been me taking someone's life because I crossed the center line and it wasn't until I seen the pictures of the accident and found she didn't just cross over the center line she crossed over two lanes and then hit them! I know longer feel bad for her! My question that I wonder everyday is how did she do that and have so many passengers and none of them even notice that she was crossing two lanes going into the on coming traffic? That to me is plain ridiculous! And for all you who say she's just 18 and not a adult or grownup then she shouldn't have been behind the wheel of a vehicle!!! I'm sorry I know she will have to live with this the rest of her life but she didn't loose anyone the other family's did because of a selfish recluse driver!

I believe that everyone is

I believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinion. so on that note here is mine. Yes, this was an accident but being 18 and all someone should know how to be sorry and say it. Yes,maybe her lawyer told her not to, but she could of apologized before she even had a lawyer. And yes, your brain is not fully developed till your 25 but that does not mean that you can't say sorry. I'm sure she is having a tough time but honestly it did not seem like it when she was "out" all the time before her court date. A simple apology would have made all the difference to the families. you all say she will have to live with this for the rest of her life and it will be hard, but she has a life to live unlike the loved ones that passed.

I have known the Mike's

I have known the Mike's family since before he was born and worked for his father many years ago. I have seen the pain his family has felt and have felt pain myself for what they are having to go thru. As for the young lady involved I can only offer what a very wise person told me long ago : "The only way you can ever truly say you are sorry for a action you have taken, is to never repeat it."

Marissa is 18 years old.

Marissa is 18 years old. Coming from a fellow 18 year old i can honestly say i have no idea how i would handle the situation. Coming form a cognitive standpoint, being 18 does not mean your mind has fully developed and that also meaning you do no know exactly what to do all the time like you people act like we should.. Give her a break. If you pricks spent half as much time sitting here and bashing her as you did loving and showing your own remorse then maybe i would feel your pain. It is easy for ignorant people to point fingers and blame someone in times like this but in reality it was an accident. an ACCIDENT. it could have happened to any one of you alleged "perfect" people. You sit back and act like she is negligent when in reality it was an accident. Quit trying to act like you guys are all so fucking perfect and it couldn't have happened to you because it could of. hence "accident". I am appalled at the lack of intelligence shown by so my many people when it comes to this case and their false accusations. People should really understand the material before commenting on it so they don't come off stupid. Oh and by the way none of you are perfect so don't act like elitists. Thanks.

You say Marissa Isn't sorry

You say Marissa Isn't sorry and need's to pay! My god She's barely 18! Mrs Smith and Family, For you to Take all that time and talk about what a horrible Person Marissa Is,and how she's not sorry! What Nerve you Have! I Know How hard it must be for you to go Back that far! When you were 18!Put everyone of you people need to.Marissa Is and will live with this the rest of her life.Not only Mentally but also Fiscally,Marissa was Lifeflyed That day to the Hospital She had to have a steel Plate put in her forehead ,Had multiple fractures both cheek bones, had a broken nose, broken rib, foot broken In three places,Major cuts on her Legs and face!almost lost a eye ! some internal bleeding But wait! And shes barely 18 years old !I Hope like hell This never happens to your Perfect family!

I love you Missy ! Stay

I love you Missy ! Stay Strong, This Shall Pass! Thank you to all who support missy and understand. and those of you That don't, Were very sorry.

Alright Uncle ray. I don't

Alright Uncle ray. I don't blame marrisa. It was a horrible horrible accident. I miss aunto sharron so very much it kills me to think ill never see her again. But i don't have to wake up everyday knowing i was responsible for the death of three other human beings. Iv kept quite in this to long what people are putting this 18 year old girl through is cruel. I'm not saying she is getting off free cause you all know she isn't. If some would take the time to listen to this girl you know she isn't a heartless monster, she is a scared little girl. I love my family uncle ray aunt weeze all of you but I'm sorry that's how i feel.

Uncle Ray, I feel the same

Uncle Ray, I feel the same way that Gage does. We both love our family more than anything. we just have different opinions than all of you.

you people are all so willing

you people are all so willing to defend this "poor little girl" marissa. you"pray for her" she will "live with this forever", she is "so sorry". great. you ALL want to defend her, but none of you are big enough to "own it". come out of the dark, cowards, and tell us who you are!

I honestly don't think it was

I honestly don't think it was Marissas fault. She made a mistake. People shouldn't be sending her hate mail and judging her. If it would have been your kid that made the mistake and killed those people would you want them to recieve hate mail? Would you want them to be called a monster? Would you want them to end up in prison? No, you wouldn't. So you should just keep your negative comments to your self. She had to live with what she did for the rest of her life. I think that's enough punishment. I knew one of the victims really well. I loved her so much. But I don't blame Marrissa at all.

Apparently whoever posted

Apparently whoever posted that Miss was driving 100 miles an hour and reckless driving is I hate to say it very ignorant. To everyone out there if you don't know the actual facts, please don't post. All you're doing is hurting people you don't even know. And one more thing I've driven with Miss and she is a good driver.

I am a friend of Marissa and

I am a friend of Marissa and her family. Please realize that Marissa was under advisement not to speak at the hearing due to Civil Suits. She has written a letter to the court and the families regarding how sorry she is that this has happened. Marissa is truly remorseful and sorry about the accident. I was with the family the day of the hearing and what her mom said was that she didn't know how to deal with the emotions and the loss of the accident and didn't know how we expected a 18 year old girl to be able to handle all the emotions not that she didn't know how to apologize. I am truly sorry for everyone involved or affected by this horrible accident. I wish that you could only see what affect this has had on Marissa and her family they are not cavalier about this for a second. They are struggling and wishing they could change time so that the families didn't lose their loved ones. So please anyone who has ever been involved with courts, lawyers, suits realize they are also being instructed on what they can or can't say.

pretty messed up that she

pretty messed up that she didnt even say sorry.

A sad, unfortunate event has

A sad, unfortunate event has taken and destroyed lives. One of the only positive things that could possibly come of this is to educate everyone willing to listen what it means to say: "it was an accident." It is not a "get out of jail free" card. An accident is an unintended event that results from an action of imprudence, recklessness, ignorance, negligence, call it what you may. In this case it is the catastrophic result of an immature, inexperienced person who failed to recognize and mitigate risk. No words or explanations will revive the dead or mend the broken lives left behind, but those observing from a distance should take notice of the fact that accidents do not just happen. Accidents are caused by human actions and in almost all cases are avoidable. I often see vehicles crossing the double yellow line on highway 140 and, even when it presents no immediate danger, it annoys me to see just how casually some tend to use such a deadly means of transportation.

I was in court that day also.

I was in court that day also. Marissa had her chance to utter two simple words instead I was infuriated by the actions of Marissa's mother. For that woman to turn and face the family of the victims and tell us that her daughter did not know how to apologize because of her age was outrageous. Really? Even my young autistic nephew knows how to say "I'm sorry". Maybe other than giving her driving lessons her parents should of taught her some basic living skills. Nothing will bring my best friend Sharron back nor will it bring Mike or Deanna back, but maybe hearing Marissa take responsibility and also apologizing could of aided our healing process. No contest must equal no apology. As for her sentencing - I know the judge must play "Solomon" at times, but shame on you.

I was also there for court

I was also there for court that day, and don't tell me that Marissa wasn't sobbing, she was, she was distraught. To have someone stand there and say to you that you destroyed thiers lives forever, she has to live with this forever, knowing the terrible pain she caused. And she is sorry, sorry for the families losses and thier pain.Just because she didn't stand and say she's sorry doesn't mean that she isn't sorry; she more sorry than any words can say. Don't you think that she wishes that she could relive that day? But as Judge Parrish said it was a accident, a horrific accident. For all those that say that she should have gone to jail, would you still be saying that if it was your son, daughter, niece or nephew that was behind the wheel that day? Each and everyone of us have taken our eyes off the road and thank god that all that happened was a good scare, and if you say otherwise your're lying. Marissa is a good, kind and loving person and her life will be forever changed. To wish or want something terrible upon another person is terribly sad and I feel sorry for them because it must be a aweful thing to have to live with so much hatred and unforgivingness. I pray to god that I or anyone else will have to go through such pain and misery, because everyone is affected. I pray that one day you'll acknowledge that it was an accident and then maybe you can have peace and forgivness. My prayers are with all the families.

I am so sorry for the

I am so sorry for the families who lost their loved ones due to Marissa's actions. I am even more sorry you had to sit through a sentencing in which the judge considered the criminal more important than the victim. If the judge wasn't willing to give her jail time why not at least sentence her to a year of community service. The article mentions she is required to develop a program for high school students about distracted driving but there is no mention of having to work a specific number of hours. This wasn't a one time action on Marissa's part. If you talk to her neighbors you will find she had a history of reckless driving. If you talk to people on the scene at the accident they will tell you that based on the distance the vehicle traveled after hitting the Harley motorcycle and the impact with which it hit Sharon's vehicle Marissa had to be traveling in the neighborhood of 100 miles per hour. That's not a driver that had a momentary distraction and made a bad choice. That's a driver that cared about no one but herself and what she wanted to do.

Over a 100 miles an hour?

Over a 100 miles an hour? Have you ever driven the road near the accident? Not only that, I don't think Marissa's vehicle could go 100 miles an hour. People on the scene? Not one person gave an eye-witness account. Neighbor's accounts of reckless driving? You went out and did a survey, did you? Have you read the CHP report? Obviously not. So next time, before making negligent, false, and immature comments make sure you have your facts straight.

I think before you state

I think before you state things about the accident GET YOUR FACTS CORRECT. There isn't a truth in anything you posted. Sorry for your ignorance but truth be the truth. It amazing you know more than the CHP and Sheriff's Department.

Also, to be quite honest, I

Also, to be quite honest, I feel that everybody is picking on Marissa for her actions, and Jarrett Leonard was in the same situation, and i have not heard one thing about him since right after it happened. Now really, why is that?

I believe JL is a miner(under

I believe JL is a miner(under age) and I heard that he apologize profusely and wholeheartedly to the victim and their families.He showed his remorse,maybe it made all the difference.I don't really know??

Jarrett Leonard had attended

Jarrett Leonard had attended the funeral and physically and emotionally sorry. Also he was mature being only 17 years old not quite an adult. He owned for what he had done with the victims family with out a court order. Marissa is 18 "AN ADULT" and has not done anything lawyers involved or not. And a court ordered apology is a joke!!

I have wondered the same....

I have wondered the same....

I personally think everybody

I personally think everybody is being a little hard on Marissa. Not the judge, but to sit there and tell somebody they are a murderer when it was a complete accident is just not right. Imagine if it was you, you glance over at something you just drove by and accidently kill 3 people. You would feel horrible and apoligize and pursuade anybody that it was an accident. And how would you feel looking into the eyes of the family knowing you didnt do it on purpose and all they have to say is negativity and wish for the worse for you. I do think she should have apologized before the judge sentenced her to, but just think if you were in her shoes. I do have to say i dont know the feelings of either families and cannot relate to how you feel.I hope all gets better with the families.

I judged Marissa when I first

I judged Marissa when I first heard about the accident a lot because of the people that were in the car with her when it happened. I was so wrong to ever assume how she might feel. Heartbreak and devestation don't even begin to describe what these families have been put through. But Marissa pays for it every second of her life now. And I hope someday she can recover. My heart goes out to you, Marissa. I'll be praying for everyone.

I was in this court room as

I was in this court room as well and first off,the truth is that there was no sobbing coming from Marissa. Holding a tissue doesn't mean your sobbing.SHE was given one last opportunity by Sharron's family to apologize and still she chose not to.Instead the Judge had to give her a court order to give the families an apology.I am a forgiving person, but I'm just not ready to forgive someone for doing such a horrible thing and walk away without at least saying,,, I am so sorry for what has happened,I am so sorry for this tragedy, I am so sorry,I didn't mean to hurt anyone,I am so,so sorry! Please forgive me. How could you not even apologize? I hope that parents see this and realize how important it is to teach their children about responsible driving! Get behind the wheel training and talk to your kids about driving with other teens and staying focused! To my sister Sharron,I love you so much,I miss you so much! I know you would hate this, but I also know you would feel exactly the same way if it was one of us that was taken from you. Forgive me!

I was also in the court room

I was also in the court room that day, and Marissa wasn't sobbing? If you watched her, the entire time, like I did, you would have seen her visibly shaking and sobbing through the entirety of the reading of the statements. What do you think she is? A robot that has no feelings? Emotions were so high in the court room, had Marissa stood up and said "I'm sorry", I am positive their would have been negative comments in response, as there was during the attorney's final statements. If Marissa had apologized, wouldn't that have made you more upset, that a simple "I'm sorry" wasn't good enough to bring back your family members? There is nothing Marissa could do or say to make you at ease and forgive her for the accident. Please, please try to find peace and be that "forgiving person" you claim to be, that Sharron would want you to be.

I have been before the court

I have been before the court of law and I received a stiffer punishment for a lesser crime. As judge parrish said "all of us are guilty of negligent driving, but not everybody has this terrible outcome". And he is right, laws are broken everyday, that is a risk millions of americans take every day, but when millions of americans make those bad decisions and are caught, then they need to face the punishment. Judge Parrish obviously felt that the multiple families effected and the life of pain they will live with didn't matter, only that Marissa is an eighteen year old girl(a legal adult)who has her whole life to live. That is the problem with the system these days, we can't punish our youth for fear we might hurt their feelings and screw them up for life, but its okay if they screw up and ruin multiple lives. I honestly don't know why judge Parrish hobbled his ass into court that day, he might as well given her a time out, he could have done that from home.

Please, everyone, take this

Please, everyone, take this heartbreaking article to heart and pay attention to your driving. We all sat in that courtroom and we all knew that every one of us who had ever gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle had, at some point or many, many points, driven without keeping our total attention on the road. Don't let what happened to our families, Sharron's, Mike's and Deanna's, happen to yours. And hope to God that none of your children will have to go through what certainly Marissa is going through now. Everyone is affected FOREVER....there is no bringing back the deceased loved ones....there is no going back for Marissa and her family, either. I would give anything for a "do-over" of August 14, 2010.

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