The mother of a Blair teen who was the driver in a rollover crash that killed a 14-year-old Blair girl was sentenced to three-and-a-half years probation and eight days in jail Tuesday in Washington County Court.
Makayla Maguire, 35, previously pleaded no contest in February and was found guilty of two counts of negligent child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, both Class 1 misdemeanors.
Heidy Martinez died July 5 when Maguire's son, Dylan, lost control of a Chevrolet SUV on a farm field road, entered a corn field on the east side of the road and rolled. The accident happened on County Road 18, a half-mile west of County Road 23. Maguire and four others were injured. Only one occupant of the vehicle was wearing a seat belt.
Judge Francis W. Barron III sentenced Maguire to 18 months probation and eight days in jail for the first count of negligent child abuse. Maguire was sentenced to one year probation for the remaining counts.
Barron said Maguire is not to have any child that is not her own under her care during probation. He also said some jail time was warranted as not serving any sentence in jail would diminish the seriousness of the offenses. Maguire will serve a day in jail on July 5, Oct. 26 and Nov. 26, with the remaining days in jail to be served in July and October until 2022. Oct. 26 is Heidy's birthday, while Nov. 26 is Thanksgiving.
"The court's rationale for that is this family has to go through the holidays without their daughter," Barron said to Maguire before sentencing.
Surrounded by members of their families, Maguire and Heidy's parents, Yeny and Jose Martinez, addressed the court prior to sentencing.
Maguire said she had brought the children to her home on the Fourth of July so they could camp in a field. She said she had left the keys with the vehicle so the kids could charge their phones and have somewhere to stay dry if it rained. She also said the children were checked on twice during the night and in the morning just before the accident occurred.
"Eleven months and 11 days ago … I hopelessly watched as those children abruptly had their childhood innocence ripped away in a fleeting moment that just as quickly turned to a life sentence for all involved," Maguire said. "Even though they specifically knew not to take the vehicle, I ultimately was the one who gave them access to it. I made a bad choice while trying to let them have a night of making memories, and for my lapse in judgement, we all suffer."
Maguire said she relives the details of the accident every day.
"In this moment, I have failed as a mother, as a mentor and as a teacher," she said. "For this, I am truly sorry with all the fiber of my being for all the unforgivable pain this has caused."
Yeny Martinez said the accident has been "pure destruction" for her family.
"I hear Mrs. Maguire's words, but I can not say that I agree with them," she said. "Our holidays, our birthdays, they're all mixed with tears now."
Yeny said she and her husband were focused on doing what was right by their children.
"And to have somebody who chose to be more of a friend than parent take that way from you, it's devastating," she said. "Today, I beg you to give me justice for Heidy … Today, as I leave this court, I will go to her grave because that's all I have left."
Patrick Dunn, Maguire's attorney, said his client had intended to drive the children home that morning as a responsible adult would.
"I've carefully read the pre-sentence report, and there are a great many references to my client wanting to conduct her affairs as if she's a friend to these young people rather than a parent," he said. "She said the vehicle was there so these kids could charge their phones, and in case it rained, they could take shelter. That story never changed."
Dunn said all of the children were generally responsible in their day-to-day lives and there was no assumption of alcohol or drug use.
"Was it improper to leave the vehicle there with the keys? … Only to the extent that you were trusting your children to follow the rules, which generally speaking, Ms. Maguire's children do and did," he said. "In the interest of my client wanting to make peace more with her own conscious than anyone or thing else, she's here to accept the court's judgement … It's not lost on my client what a tragedy this is. My client has to live with this for the rest of her life."
Jose Martinez said no parent should have to have to feel what his family has felt.
"We don't get a chance to watch our daughter graduate, go to college, graduate, marry her husband, have a family of her own," he said. "You're leaving your kids under adult supervision that you hope is as good as yours. But when that fails, lives get lost, and that is what happened to my daughter. I hope that is something (Maguire) will be able to live with the rest of her life, that she has caused pain to everyone around her."
Dylan Maguire was sentenced June 3 to probation, which he must serve until November 2023.