LOST BEST FRIEND
When it was her turn to speak, Menke cried, saying she lost her best friend that day.
“I don’t even remember what happened,” she said.
She said Lyon didn’t want to drive that day and that “we always did what she wanted to do.”
Defense attorney John Piasecki said his client was remorseful and that extenuating circumstances led to the crash, including the poor weather conditions, and “the behavior of the occupants didn’t reduce the risks involved.”
He said Menke has taken responsibility by pleading guilty and seeking counseling and will have to live with the knowledge of Lyon’s death the rest of her life.
Piasecki said that no matter what sentence was handed down “it can’t reduce the impact this whole matter has had on Tanya” and that treating her as a youthful offender is proper “so her life will not be more complicated than it is now.”
Judge Main said the date of Dec. 7 is already seared in the national consciousness (due to the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor), and now that date will be also remembered locally for the tragedy attached to it.
“Nothing I can say today and no sentence I impose will make things better. Brooke will still be gone from her family and friends, and Alexis will still be scarred from the events of that day.
“How (Menke) had a car at all and no license is a mystery to me and a lesson to all,” he said, adding that her claim that she was coerced into smoking pot and driving “borders on suspicious,” considering her knowledge of pot and where to obtain it.
The judge sentenced her to probation and jail and imposed fines, surcharges, fees and restitution totaling about $3,500.
Probation conditions were also outlined that forbid her from using Facebook and MySpace, to be under a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and to perform 500 hours of community service, including speaking at educational classes to other teens about the dangers of drug use and driving as well as fatal motor-vehicle crashes.
She must also follow any treatment suggested by probation officials, graduate from high school or an equivalent program and hold down a full-time job or be a full-time student.
Email Denise A. Raymo: firstname.lastname@example.org