Thursday, April 10, 2008

Woman Convicted of DUI, Sentencing Postponed

See also from the Topeka Capital-Journal, 4-10-2008: Sentencing postponed for woman involved in fatal DUI wreck.

I saw this wreck happen; in fact, Justin's car was right behind my car. I saw her lights coming towards me and suddenly it registered that she was in MY lane! I swerved just in time to avoid her - she literally missed me by less than 4 feet. I swerved back onto the road and looked in my rear view mirror just in time to see her hit his car head-on. He and I were each going about 60 mph; I don't know how fast she was going.

I've seen a LOT of things in my life, including seeing other people die, but what I saw that night shook me. I've lived in this area my whole life (30 years) and didn't know any of the people involved. But I DO know what I saw. Out of respect for the Mr. Fujibayashi and his family, I'll keep those details between myself and the police report.

What really got me was a week later, when I was called to the Highway Patrol headquarters. They needed a statement from me, as a witness, because it seemed that Ms. Dennon and another witness (her friend) were trying to claim that she was in the correct lane, and that Mr. Fujibayashi was in the wrong lane.

In other words, they were trying to save Dennon's skin, by blaming it on her victim, the man she killed!

As a single parent myself, I understand the need to get out and away and have fun. Everybody makes mistakes, and sometimes they are fatal. However drunk driving is no innocent mistake, it's extreme reckless negligence. And in this case, her actions ruined 3 lives.

It's a shame that Ms. Dennon's child will have a mother in prison. It's an even greater shame that Ms. Dennon needlessly took a life, tried to blame it on her victim, and now her daughter is going to pay the price.

There is a MySpace page in memory of Justin Fujibayashi. http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=143196782

Sincerely,

Thomas Lessman
Website: www.ThomasLessman.com
Blog: www.talessman.blogspot.com

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4 comments:

cfuji said...

As the father of her victim, I can assure you that Jessica Dennon has ruined far more then just 3 lives. For over a year I have not slept well, my wife is affected, my job is affected as are my coworkers. Justin had many friends as you can see from the MySpace page that was set up in his honor ( www.myspace.com-BurntKidProductions ). Each of those friends have suffered. Justin’s son who is very confused why his dad has not come back home. Justin had a daughter that he never saw who was born on what should have been his 26th birthday. Justin’s widow of course has suffered a great loss. Justin’s little sister who idolized her big brother. Justin’s younger brother. Justin’s mother who cries everyday for her son, Justin’s grandparents who were so very proud of his great accomplishments.
No, Jessica has ruined far more then just 3 lives.
My only hope is that since the laws in Kansas are far more lax for DUI or involuntary manslaughter charges (she will serve no more then 41 months) then here in Arkansas (she would serve 10 years) is that the story of what has happened to my son will deter those who might consider making the same choice Jessica did on December 4, 2006.

Talessman said...

* On CJonline's story about this accident (the link is at the end of this comment), some of Jessica's friends and family took it upon themselves to comment and try to defend her. My response to them is:

To Jessica's friends and family, who are upset with what has been said about her:

I was there and witnessed the entire accident. As I said in my first post, I had to swerve because she literally came *this close* to hitting me instead of Justin.

Making an honest mistake is one thing. Driving drunk once might be an honest mistake. It is NOT an honest mistake when you've been caught several times before. And conspiring with a friend to blame the person you killed while driving drunk, just to save your own @$$? That's beyond dispicable.

I realize that YOU (Jessica's friends and family) did not cause the accident, and that you are only defending someone you love. I sympathize with you in that regard.

But I SAW the person you love kill someone, then show her "remorse" by trying to LIE and BLAME HER VICTIM for the accident SHE CAUSED. That's cold-blooded, heartless, and shows that she has absolute disregard for anyone but herself. In my book that makes her one of the lowest pieces of dirt around.

And she would have gotten away with it, if I hadn't seen the whole thing and made sure the police knew exactly what happened. Because there is NO WAY I would ever let a scumbag get away with killing someone and blaming it on the victim, just to save their own @$$.

Thomas Lessman
Website: www.ThomasLessman.com
. Blog: www.talessman.blogspot.com
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** The original CJonline story about this is located at http://cjonline.com/stories/041008/loc_267023116.shtml

CFuji said...

Thomas, I wasnt to thank you for publishing this and hope that someday, somehow the lawmakers of your state realize that the punishment they have awarded the crime of Involentary Manslaughter in commision of a DUI is nothing short of a joke and certainly not a deterent. In the state of Arkansas it is Reckless Homicide with 5 - 10 years. Many other states they increase the jail time for the DUI offense even if it is the first time. I was told by one of the state officials that since so many of them own establishments that serve alcohol or as we witnessed the week Justin died that they also drink and drive they are not anxious to be responsible for the same sentences as other states.

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