The no-nonsense approach of Judge Qiana Lillard is getting attention far beyond her Michigan courtroom. Lillard kicked Donna Kosal out of the room for laughing during a deadly DUI sentencing.
Judge Lillard 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.
Donna’s daughter Amanda Kosal, 25 admitted that she was drunk when she struck SUV head-on, killing 31-year-old Jerome Zilker and severely injuring his fiancée, 31-year-old Brittany Johnson.
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 sound was coming from the place, where the defendant Amanda Kosal’s family was sitting.
In response, the Judge paused the victim’s family as they read impact statements to scold the man and woman involved.
“It’s time for him to go. And I don’t know who he is, but whoever can sit here at a tragic moment like this and laugh and smile when somebody lost a family member… in the entire time that Mr. Zirker’s sister was speaking to that clown, and that’s what I am going to call him, a clown was sitting there smiling and laughing,” said Lillard.
Speaking to Donna Kosal, Lillard said “And you can go, too. Because if you don’t know how to act, you can go to jail. So leave. Anybody that can sit there and laugh and smirk — take her, she’s going in the back — anybody else wanna go? You can go too.” Judge Lillard didn’t stop there.
She explained to Kosal’s family “This is a court law. And these are very serious matters. I understand that you all are very upset because your loved one is going to prison but guess what, she’s going to prison for the choices 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?”
Doona did not seem to learn her lesson and proceeded to mutter under her breath.
Judge Lillard had enough, “Your disruptive and disrespectful behavior disrupted today’s proceedings and you, ma’am, are going to the Wayne County Jail for 93 days.”
Amanda was sentenced to 3 to 15 years in prison for the death of Zirker, father of five. Her mother, Donna appeared in court again and apologized for her behavior and her sentence was reduced to one day in jail.
Lillard took to Facebook to thank the millions of people who watched the video of court proceedings and those who reached out to her personally.