ELYRIA — Shelley Marrero brought all that she had left of her son to court with her on Wednesday.
“I brought my son with me,” she said, referencing to an urn on one of the attorney’s tables. “He sits on my mantle at home. This is all I have left. This and his baby, Adrian.”
Marrero gave an emotional victim impact statement in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court that left many of her family members in tears as well as Danny Emery, the Elyria man who was being sentenced for killing her son, Tyler Marrero, in a 2016 traffic accident.
“Danny Emery’s disregard for human life has robbed us of our future with Tyler,” she said. “He has robbed Adrian of the chance to know his father, his gentle touch, his loving hugs or his careful guidance. Meg is now left as a single mother to raise their boy alone. Gone is their new family and their future together, all as a result of Mr. Emery.”
Raymond Harker read a statement on behalf of his wife, Amanda, who is Tyler Marrero’s sister.
“You killed him. You left him laying on the side of the road without a second thought,” he read to Emery. “You took away the most important thing. He was my best friend and you left Adrian without a father. He was the root of our family and I never thought I’d have to go through my life without him.”
Harker said Tyler Marrero and his girlfriend, Megan Miller, were in the process of making plans for their family, something that will now never come to fruition.
Shelley Marrero said “no amount of prison time will measure up to the life sentence” the family was handed when they lost Tyler, who was 23 years old at the time of his death.
“The last thing I see every night before I close my eyes is my son’s lifeless body in the emergency room with tubes coming out of his chest, blood all over the floor and the last glance that he gave his father and I before he died in front of us,” she said.
Emery, 30, of Elyria, was sentenced to six months in a community-based correctional facility after previously pleading guilty to a third-degree felony count of aggravated vehicular homicide and failure to stop after a crash, according to court documents.
Visiting Judge Robert Brown said he would suspend a five-year sentence in the case and instead place Emery on five years of probation after serving his six months. Emery was also sentenced to playing $4,037 in funeral costs and will have his driver’s license suspended for 10 years.
In a statement to Brown, Emery said he “was sorry” for taking the life of 23-year-old Tyler Marrero on Nov. 5, 2016 but was requesting leniency because he was the sole breadwinner for his three sons and long-term girlfriend.
“I know this has to be devastating to this family and I can’t imagine what this family’s been going through,” Emery said. “I got three young boys myself and I love them very much, and if something were to happen to them I wouldn’t be the same person ever again and I would probably be mad too.”
Emery said since the crash he sold his 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt that was involved in the crash and he doesn’t plan on speeding ever again.
“I really do want a second chance and I’m sorry,” he said. “I made some bad choices that day and I regret them. I wish I could take them back. I wish I had just gone home that day. I understand they’re mad at me and I just hope one day they can forgive me.”
The Ohio Highway Patrol reported Emery’s 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt collided with a motorcycle driven by Tyler Marrero on North Ridge Road.
County Prosecutor Dennis Will has said Emery’s car cut off Tyler Marrero’s motorcycle, causing the motorcycle to hit a rear quarter panel.
Emery left the scene and was tracked down at his home, authorities said. Tyler Marrero was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Assistant County Prosecutor Chris Pierre said the crash was a result of street racing on North Ridge Road and instead of going home, Emery chose to participate in the activity.
“What I don’t want to lose sight of is from the defense perspective is you’re hearing what the defendant and his family deserve and I would submit that the court should consider what Tyler’s family and son deserve,” Pierre said. “Yes, the defendant’s sons will miss him if he goes away for a time, but the defendant’s sons will get to see him and will get to have Christmas and birthdays with him again and Adrian doesn’t get that.”
Pierre also said Emery’s statement that he doesn’t intend to speed again doesn’t appear to be true with him having over nine citations for speeding and some with significant amounts such as 106 miles per hour.
Pierre referenced a Facebook post from Emery dated April 18. In the post, Emery has a shocked looked on his face with a caption reading, “The face you make when you pass a cop speeding but he doesn’t notice.”
“That is an indication that he’s continuing to speed even while this case is going on and even then is speeding a joke?” he said. “A joke that he wants to share with all of his friends? The defendant has continued to show that he’s a danger to the community because he doesn’t abide by traffic laws. He’s shown he has no remorse. He’s sorry he got caught.”
Brown said when deciding on Emery’s punishment one of the biggest factors was the fact that Emery fled the scene after the crash and attempted to hide his car.
“Maybe that was because he knew he had a really horrendous driving record and didn’t want to accept responsibility, but obviously he should have stopped,” he said. “I think if he had stopped it would have been an entirely different matter.”
Brown said Emery did many things wrong after the collision but the judge made multiple mentions of the “troubling” Facebook post.
“The Facebook post I absolutely don’t get. I absolutely don’t get,” he said. “I’m really bothered by that post. I just don’t get it. I’m bothered by that and the speed citations. I never looked at your Facebook page and I don’t know that I would know how to do that, but I know there’s been several posts about drag racing.”
Brown said the post changed his perception of the case and having no idea why Emery made it “bothered him a great deal.”
Shelley Marrero showed pictures of Tyler in court and described him as a gifted baseball player who was “a firecracker and full of life” and loved his family.
“Never again will Tyler and his dad share texts about the latest baseball game and never again will I pick up the phone and hear ‘Hey, mama,’” she said. “You stole that from us, Danny. You stole that from us. I do envy you. I look at your social media and I see your pictures and I envy you because when this is all said and done, you will get to go back to your family and go back to your life. This is a luxury Tyler will never get.”