Woman sentenced in hit-run
MEDFORD — An Eagle Point woman was sentenced to 30 days in custody and three years' supervised probation Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court for her actions related to the death of a teenager in April 2008.
"There's really no happy ending to this case," said Judge Lisa Greif. "It's just a tragedy all around."
A jury on Nov. 25 found Mary Ann Shostrom, 53, guilty of felony hit-and-run for failing to stop after running over and killing 15-year-old Manuel Antonio-Gonzalez on April 13, 2008. She was not charged with the death of the teen, who was lying in Medford's North Riverside Avenue in what defense argued was a suicide attempt. It was Shostrom's failure to stop and offer assistance that led to the charge. Jurors voted, 11 to 1, to find Shostrom guilty after deliberating for about two hours.
Shostrom, the mother of six, maintains she did not knowingly leave the scene of an accident. She wept and expressed sympathy for the family of Antonio-Gonzalez after sentencing. The victim's family was not present.
"I'm still shocked at the verdict from the trial," Shostrom said. "There really isn't such a thing as closure. I just feel very sad for the family."
Antonio-Gonzalez' brother Juan, now 15, testified during trial that Manuel became emotional after drinking five shots of tequila and having an argument with their mother. Juan said Manuel told him no one would miss him if he died and then laid down on Riverside to end his life. Juan was going to pick his brother up off the road when Shostrom hit Manuel and continued driving.
Shostrom testified she remembered driving over "a bump" at about 2 a.m. that night as she was returning home from a karaoke event. After hearing a teenager had been struck by a car and that police were seeking the driver of the vehicle, she went to the police station the next day so that officers could inspect her vehicle. She was questioned, then arrested.
Investigators first presented the case to a grand jury in the week after the crash, but the panel declined to return an indictment based on the available evidence. The charge of failing to stop was dismissed. After further investigation, a second grand jury indicted Shostrom in August 2008.
Greif said she was reminded of the tragedy every time she drove to coach youth basketball at the nearby youth center, Kids Unlimited. Shostrom's driver's license is suspended for five years and she must submit to any counseling deemed appropriate by the supervising authority. The state has 90 days to determine restitution costs, if applicable, Greif said.
Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 776-4497 or e-mail email@example.com.