Wednesday was an emotional day for mother Jodi Croley.
Timothy Christ, the man responsible for killing her 13-year-old son Christopher, aka Bubba, in a drunk-driving accident last October, pled no contest to his charges in Marinette County Court.
"Everybody loved him," said the boyâ??s mother, filled with tears. "Once you met him, everybody loved himâ?|he had this infectious laugh."
The 28-year-old Wausaukee man could face 34 years in prison and over $100,000 in fines. Christ did have one previous Operating While Impaired (OWI) conviction on his record but no other criminal history. District Attorney Allen Brey is recommending the defendant be sentenced to a minimum of 15 years.
"This was a very preventable accident," explained Brey. "He was offered a free ride home, and he chose not to take it, and instead drove out onto the highway with no headlights in the path of this family, killing a young man."
The DA also mentioned in court that Christâ??s blood alcohol level was .27, three times over the legal limit.
The victim's parents say regardless of what the defendant receives, nothing will bring back the loss of their loved one.
"Iâ??ll never get my son back," Jodi said. "Iâ??ll never touch him; Iâ??ll never hug him...I'll never have nothing back."
The victimâ??s father, Christopher Croley, is a Michigan State Trooper and calls the incident "devastating."
Christopher deals with incidents like these often as a state trooper but adds that itâ??s something you think will "never happen to you."
"When it does, itâ??s a shell shock," said Christopher.
The victim's family also wants the defendant to honor their sonâ??s birthday every year forward by watching a DVD with photos of Christopher, writing a letter to newspapers about the consequences of drunk driving and, lastly, making their son a birthday card.
"So that every year on his birthday he would remember him," the boyâ??s mother said in tears. "So he wouldn't be forgotten."
Christ will be sentenced May 20.