‘Bogus:’ No Prison Time for Teen Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
June 4, 2019USshare
‘Bogus:’ No Prison Time for Teen Driver in Fatal Hit-and-Run
Taressa Diana Wilson-Snyder, 22, was killed in a hit-and-run crash on March 16, 2019. (Taressa Wilson-Snyder/Facebook)

The family of a woman who died after being run over by a teen driver who fled the scene slammed the sentencing handed down this week, which includes no prison time.

Taressa Diana Wilson-Snyder, 22, was hit by Johnathan Yang, 17, on March 16 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Yang was treated as a juvenile and sentenced to probation until he turns 21, reported the Twin Cities Pioneer Press. He was also ordered to do 12 hours of community service a month, undergo therapy, and pay restitution. He cannot drive until he turns 21.

If Yang does not adhere to probation requirements, he could serve time in prison.

“Bogus,” Sarah Wilson, Wilson-Snyder’s mother, told Fox 9. “That’s exactly what I called it. It was bogus.”

“He got grounded for killing my daughter,” she added. “He got grounded. He can still live his life and do what he wants to do. My daughter can’t do that.”

She wondered how she’d explain to her granddaughter. “How am I supposed to explain that to her daughter that the man who killed her is walking scot free?” said Wilson.

Wilson said during the hearing on Monday that the sentence was unfair.

“I don’t understand how someone could do that and then just walk away. … My daughter cannot live her life, but he can … scot-free. Because he has a good background?” she told Ramsey County District Judge Teresa Warner, referring to how Yang’s lack of a criminal history helped get him the light sentence, reported the Press.

Yang cried while he spoke in court, apologizing for the hit-and-run.

“I just want to apologize for everything that has happened,” Yang said. “I never had any intention of hurting her … I think about (this) every day.”

“There are times when I do cry about it,” he continued. “If I could (go back), I would have stopped and checked and called for help. … It’s hard for me to go outside because of what I did.”

Wilson-Snyder was found on the side of the road and died later on March 16, reported the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Investigators found pieces of the vehicle that hit her at the scene and received a call from the owner of One Auto Glass, where Yang had taken the vehicle.

Yang ultimately told police he’d been the driver but said it was a dark night and that he didn’t see the victim, who was wearing all black clothing.

“He stated that he panicked after he hit her and was scared,” according to court documents.

Judge Warner responded on Monday to the victim’s mother by saying she was bound by state law.

“I took an oath to follow the law,” Warner told Wilson. “I’m sorry but the law stinks,” Wilson responded. “I am certainly not going to argue with you,” Warner said. “I just wish the best for you and your granddaughter.”

A defense attorney told Fox 9 that if Yang had been 18 when the crash took place, he likely would have received a prison sentence.

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