During her sentencing hearing on Monday, a young woman from Ottoville was spared from serving prison time after leaving the scene of a nearly fatal collision. Earlier this year, the pickup truck she was driving had hit a Delphos bicyclist. This was due, in part, to a recommendation from the victim’s wife.
Kelly Getz stood before the court, her voice shaking as she recounted the pain and suffering her family had endured since her husband Wayne was hit by Makenna Klausing’s car. She had prepared a lengthy statement, and as she neared the end, she turned her attention to Klausing. With a direct gaze, she addressed the young woman, her words heavy with emotion.
As I read this sentence, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of relief. The speaker, who initially requested a short jail sentence for Makenna, has had a change of heart. They have since prayed for her and now believe that mercy is the best course of action. Makenna may have made a mistake, but the speaker has chosen to extend forgiveness rather than punishment. It’s a powerful reminder that even in our darkest moments, there is hope for redemption and grace.
Klausing, following the advice of her attorney and due to ongoing civil litigation, chose not to make a statement to the court. However, she was seen weeping openly as Mrs. Getz addressed the court.
In a recent development, Klausing has been sentenced by Judge Keith Schierloh of the Putnam County Common Pleas Court. As per the verdict, Klausing will serve five years of probation and spend six days in the county jail. Additionally, she has been directed to pay $33,615.15 as restitution to Wayne Getz. Although her driver’s license has been suspended for three years, she has been allowed work privileges.
The deadline for her to report to jail is on Friday.
On May 22, there was a traffic accident on state Route 66, a short distance south of Putnam County Road R. The accident involved a GMC Sierra pickup truck, which was driven by Klausing, and a bicycle ridden by Wayne Getz, aged 57 and hailing from Delphos. According to a witness who was present in his yard at the time, the pickup truck collided with the bicycle and then proceeded to drive away. These events led to the charges being brought forward.
During Monday’s court proceedings, Kelly Getz shared the extent of her husband’s injuries which included a compound fracture in his left arm, a traumatic brain injury, a pelvic fracture, internal bleeding, and various other medical issues that are still present even after four months. The injuries were described as widespread and have caused significant physical and emotional distress.
During the hearing, she expressed her concern about Wayne’s future and said to the judge, “The damage caused by the accident has left us uncertain about Wayne’s recovery. We are hoping for the best but the chances of complete healing are less than 50%. Currently, his hand is functioning at only 30% capacity and we have noticed some memory loss since the accident.” She conveyed her worries about Wayne’s condition and hoped for a positive outcome.
According to court documents, Klausing was interviewed by a deputy from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and claimed to have no memory of the incident. However, she did acknowledge noticing extensive damage to the truck upon her return home that evening. The report states that the damage was significant.
In August, Klausing, who is 22 years old, pleaded no contest and was subsequently convicted of hitting a cyclist with her car and fleeing the scene of the accident.
After discussing the terms, she decided to accept the negotiated offer that involved pleading no contest to a fourth-degree felony charge of vehicular assault. As part of the deal, the prosecutors agreed to drop a fifth-degree felony charge of failure to stop after an accident.
According to court records, Klausing was interviewed by a deputy from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, during which she claimed to have no recollection of the incident. However, Klausing did acknowledge that there was considerable damage to the truck when she returned home that evening. Documents state that she admitted to being involved in an accident while driving the truck.
At the hearing held on Monday, the daughter of Getz expressed her opinion that Klausing had committed a grave error by abandoning the accident scene and leaving her father lying injured on the ground.
During her conversation with Klausing, she emphasized that running is simple, but taking responsibility for one’s actions is difficult.
At the end of the hearing, Kelly Getz warmly embraced Klausing and gave her a heartfelt hug.
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