On Aug. 15, 1998, my only son, Jeremy Kelly, was killed by a drunken driver, Tammy Hornsby. She was charged with felony driving while under the influence and driving with a suspended license for the sixth time.
Because this case was given to a solicitor who had never tried a DUI case, it was pleaded down to involuntary manslaughter and a five-year sentence, and sixth months for driving with a suspended license. There was no restitution. Tammy Hornsby was sent to a work-release program and will finish her sentence May 10.
I can't understand how the law is fair and just for some and not for ours. When there is a life, soul and spirit taken away like that, the law should apply the same way with every offender. I also believe a car is a weapon, just as a gun or a knife. These offenders don't realize that the families are victims too - we have a life sentence forever.
Don't get me wrong. There are some cases where remorse and sympathy should be considered. People make bad choices every day, no matter what the age.
But just as Shayna Lively got a 25-year sentence and $10,000 fine for killing three people while driving drunk in 1999, why not make an example of all who commit such crimes?
I feel the community has a right to know that my family and others requested at the last parole board hearing that Tammy Hornsby not be released to Aiken County, S.C., She was living in Seneca, S.C., at the time of the wreck and was in Aiken County for a parenting class for her children, who she had lost custody of. We feel she is a threat to our community and my family.
Remember, it could be your child next - or your mother, father, sister or brother. It could be you writing in the memory of your child, as I am writing in the memory of Jeremy Kelly.
Patricia Kelly, Aiken, S.C.