Justin Taylor pleads guilty in hit-and-run death of Ja-Lexy Bobet
Sentenced to 2 to 7 years in prison
A Berks County teenager is heading to state prison after he admitted to leaving the scene of an accident that killed a three-year-old girl in Reading one year ago.
Justin Taylor pleaded guilty Wednesday, in a deal he reached with Berks County prosecutors, to charges of hit-and-run resulting in a death and causing a death while not properly licensed.
Taylor, 19, of Wernersville, was sentenced to two to seven years in state prison Wednesday.
"It feels like it was just yesterday, it hurts so bad. For them to just give him two to seven, it's not fair and they should never, ever, ever let him drive ever again in his life," said Clarabel Roman, the aunt of Ja-Lexy Bobet.
Time has not healed the pain for Ja-Lexy's family, and their wounds were ripped open Wednesday.
Taylor said he was sorry to Ja-Lexy's family in court, but they said it came too late, and they were not happy with his sentence.
The tragic accident happened in June 2012 at South 10th and Cotton streets in the city. Taylor was behind the wheel when he blew through a stop sign, hit Ja-Lexy and left the scene without stopping, said police.
"He indicated to me that he left the scene, not in an effort to avoid responsibility for his actions, but he was fearful for his safety," said Jay Nigrini, Taylor's attorney.
Nigrini admitted his client did the wrong thing and said he panicked. One year later, Ja-Lexy's parents said their daughter did not receive enough justice.
"I don't have my daughter with me, and he gets to see tomorrow. I don't think it's fair," said Wilton Bobet, Ja-Lexy's father.
"I'm just trying to keep her memory alive. It will never fade in me. She will be a part of me forever," said Gabriella Roman, Ja-Lexy's mother.
According to prosecutors, Taylor cannot be released before he serves at least two years in prison. He cannot drive, and he was ordered to pay thousands of dollars in restitution.
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