Driver who ran over two young girls gets days in jail for sentence

A Mishawaka man who hit and killed two young girls last May will only spend days in jail.

Thursday 56-year-old Leroy Hoover was sentenced to 60 days in jail. 50 of the days are suspended. His driver’s license was suspended. He must also attend substance abuse classes. Hoover was charged with a misdemeanor by a grand jury.

The mother of 6-year-old Shianna and 4-year-old Shayla Aston's spoke out about the case and says justice hasn't been served.

The prosecutor's office says their hands are tied.

Today a presentation laid out all of the evidence and the law explaining why 56-year-old Leroy Hoover was only charged with a misdemeanor.

At the time of the accident Hoover had a valid license, didn't run a stop sign, was on the right side of the road, didn’t leave the scene of the accident, wasn't drunk or impaired, and wasn't speeding.

“The speed reconstruction, the facts at the scene, scientific evidence show his speed was between 27 and 32 miles per hour when the impact was made with the two little girls,” says Deputy Prosecutor Eric Tamashasky from St. Joseph County.

And while the facts are hard and fast the witnesses were all over the place.

“Each witness that was out there saw a different point of impact. They saw three different locations from where the girls started there path into the intersection,” explains Tamashasky.

In the end the only law that was broken were traces of marijuana found in Hoover’s blood stream possibly taken days before the accident.

“The only crime committed here was a Class C Misdemeanor for having a marijuana metabolite in his blood stream,” says Prosecutor Michael Dvorak of St. Joseph County.

Experts say marijuana metabolite doesn’t impair a driver’s ability but is still illegal.

Overall in the state’s eyes this accident happened because of negligence and carelessness on the driver’s part.

“There was obviously some inadvertence that must have occurred on the driver’s part where he didn't see those children. That negligence is not a felony offence in Indiana,” explains Dvorak.

The mother of the two girls, Shelly Aston, still believes there has to be a better way.

“Things have got to change. It is not right, not fair, and it is not justice,” she says.

Although this case is done in the criminal system. Aston says she has pursued civil action against Hoover.

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