Judge Throws Drunk Driver’s Mom In Jail For Laughing At Victim’s Family

Published March 1, 2017
Updated September 12, 2019

A Michigan judge did not put up with a drunk driver's family laughing in her courtroom.

A Michigan judge threw a drunk driver’s mother in jail for 93 days after she refused to stop laughing at the family of the man her 25-year-old daughter killed in a head-on collision.

According to NBC affiliate WDIV, Wayne County Circuit Court Qiana Lillard heard giggling while the family of Jerome Zirker was reading their statements to the court. The giggling came from the place where the family of defendant Amanda Kosal was sitting.

In response, Lillard had a couple of choice words for the perpetrators, according to CBS News.

“Whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody has lost a family member … in the entire time that Mr. Zirker’s sister was speaking, that clown — and that’s what I am going to call him, a clown — was sitting there smiling and laughing … And you can go, too,” Lillard said to Donna Kosal, Amanda Kosal’s mother. “Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave.”

Lillard didn’t stop there.

“This is a court of law, and these are very serious matters,” Lillard continued. “I understand you all are very upset because your loved one is going to prison — but guess what? She’s going to prison for the choices that she made. These people are here grieving, saddened because a senseless act took away their loved one, and you’re sitting here acting like it’s a joke? Not in Courtroom 502. Not today and not any other day.”

Donna Kosal did not seem to learn her lesson and proceeded to mutter under her breath.

Lillard had enough.

“Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today’s proceedings,” said Lillard, “and you, ma’am, are going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days.”

Amanda Kosal was sentenced that day to 3 to 15 years in prison for her part causing the crash that killed Zirker, a 31-year-old father of five. Her mother returned to Lillard’s court on Friday and had her sentence reduced to one day in jail, plus time served, after apologizing.

Next, check out how this Idaho judge sentenced a 19-year-old rapist to government-mandated celibacy, before finding out about the Alabama judge who kept trying to “ban” gay marriage.

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Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.