In Atlanta, Georgia, a teenage girl committed an unthinkable crime and got off with only a slap on the wrist. With three people dead, including a tiny baby, you’d think the murderer would get a fitting punishment. However, this proved not to be the case with the Cherokee County teen who drove her car into three pedestrians, killing them.
After the legal system decided to go easy on 18-year-old Zoe Reardon, the court listened in shock as she received only 36 months of probation after killing three innocent people. Her lawyers entered the plea to misdemeanor charges on Monday morning and literally got away with murder.
“I want to take this opportunity to say how truly sorry I am,” the teen said before she received her light sentence.
Allegedly, Reardon was being empathetic by receiving such a light sentence, claiming that she did not want to put the families of the victims through a trial.
Although it was possible for Reardon to spend 36 months behind bars doing hard time, the court went very easy on the young girl. Because she was pretty? Because she pleaded her case? Because she looked remorseful? That is not clear and may never be known. Only those who were in the room when she received such a light sentence for three deaths could possibly know what compelled the justice system to go so easy on her.
Reardon attends college in Texas. This meant that the court allowed her to get the lenient probation so she could return to school in Texas. The people she killed, including the three-month-old baby, will never be allowed to better their lives, but Georgia still affords the opportunity.
Within a year, Georgia will give her license back. She was driving while using her phone, which is as deadly as drunk driving. She will also have to pay fines and donate to a foundation that helps stop people from driving while distracted.
Because she was a first offender, her record gets cleared after she completes her slap-on-the-wrist sentence. Is this fair? Should she get off so easy after killing three people including a baby?
“You’re pretty young,” State court Judge Alan Jordan told Reardon during sentencing. “You’ve got a lifetime ahead of you. I expect this is something you’re going to have a hard time dealing with the rest of your life.”
Reardon’s victims included Kaitlin Hunt, her three-month-old daughter Riley, and family friend, 61-year-old Kathy Deming.
If Reardon had paid attention while driving, Hunt would have celebrated her thirtieth birthday this week. The families of the victims pleaded with Judge Jordan to hand down the toughest sentence possible. He disregarded their wishes.
“It’s ridiculous to say they walked out in front of you. That didn’t happen, and you know it didn’t happen,” said Kathy’s widow, Mike Deming.
Deming looked directly at Reardon as he made his statement, indicating that he knew she lied about everything to get away with murder.
Do you think this teen should have received a harder sentence after killing three people with her distracted driving?