The family of a 65-year-old grandmother filled a Kansas City courtroom Wednesday as a drunk driver pleaded guilty to killing the woman on her way to church.
Jonathan P. Ross pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and seven additional counts. He will be sentenced to at least nine years in jail, but no more than 25 years as part of his plea deal.
Gertrude Price was driving to church and then after that to see a newborn great-grandchild when the Lincoln she was driving was struck by Ross, whose speeds reached almost 100. Two others were injured.
Ross tried to run away but a bystander tackled him and helped police arrest him.
In court, Ross admitted he had stolen a vehicle from an Independence car lot and was drunk when he ran a red light, causing the crash at 12th Street and Hardesty Avenue.
Prosecutors told the judge that Ross was a persistent offender and on probation at the time. His driving license had been revoked.
Ross will be sentenced July 26. Price's family is disappointed that Ross won't see more prison time.
Price's daughter, Grace, was one of those injured in the crash. She said she wished prosecutors were seeking a stiffer sentence.
"I think he deserves more time. It's not my choice to give him. I think he should get more time," she said as she began to break down in tears. "It's not bringing Mama back. Nothing is going to bring Mama back. He's getting off scot-free to me. That's how I feel."
Gertrude Price was remembered as a giving, loving woman. Nicole Price said her mother would have wanted her family to forgive her killer.
Grace Price said she feels sorry for Ross' family and children.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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