Madi’s uncle Lee surprised me on 10/25/2017 (Sentencing Date). I am going to let you read his words explaining what happened that day, I think he explains it best. I will just say it was rapid fire…
“What a rough morning. I didn’t know I was going to give a statement until I was at the court house this morning. Today Marilee Gardner was sentenced for taking the lives of Madi Mariah Haan and her friend Tyler. I’ve spoken in juvenile court so many times before but this time was different. I was shaking. I was terrified.
I’m very glad I had a chance to look her in the eye and say what I felt- even if it didn’t come out exactly how I wanted it. I’m disgusted in the prosecuting attorney smirking while Tyler’s grandfather read his victim statement. I called him out on it in court and am glad I did. I’d say it again, “I find it offensive for the prosecutor to smile and smirk during a victim’s statement.”
Before I had a chance to see what Lee had posted I had posted this…
“I just want to thank everyone who came to support justice for Madi and Tyler today, it was intense and emotional and I needed you there so thank you. I am so proud of my daughter for standing up and saying something, she at one point didn’t even think she could go, so I am very very proud and I know that what she said was straight from her broken heart. To my brother- in- law Lee I loved you before, I respected you before, but today you were a hero (it can be wonder woman), you stood up for something and did it with conviction. Lee I get you so much more now then ever before. I get it I really do… You get strong and you do what is right and you say something and you say it with confidence because you know that you are right, I get that now and unless you have had to fight like hell for what you know is right you don’t get that, and there is a certain confidence that comes with that. I have that confidence now, and when I saw you today I knew exactly why you do the things that you do, which are the right things. I can’t put it in your words so I will put it in mine… Now that I have had to fight for the thing that has been the very most horrific and important thing in my life no one is going to disrespect me. I will say what is right and wrong and with confidence because I know that I am right and that no one is going to belittle or bully me into thinking otherwise. Not ever again! I love you, Madi Mariah Haan loves you, and as you said and as you know all of your nieces and nephews love you as well, you inspire people
I would like to express my opinion about the prosecutor as well as my previous advocate and their actions.
I get that it is human nature to get defensive when you feel attacked, I really do, but to be dramatic about something you caused while dealing with families who have been through such a tragedy is petty to say the least.
Why do we say the things we do? The things that make us mad and make us speak out… These are said because we have not been treated right. We were not treated right when you made the decision that Dr. Gardner’s position with the Weber County Sheriff’s office was not a conflict of interest in this case. We were not treated right the numerous times we were not contacted or called back as we were told we would be. We were not treated right when we showed up after a sleepless night thinking we are going to a preliminary hearing and it ends up only being a hearing to ask for a new court date.
We were not treated right when the notification for Madi’s car being available for the insurance company to inspect was not properly relayed to anyone, not the insurance company, not me, not my attorney, no one. I made car payments on the car my daughter and Tyler were killed in for 10 months. Do you think that is acceptable? Also on this same subject again promises to call back were not kept.
We were not treated right when Tyler’s Grandpa from out of state came down for a meeting that he had not been notified of by the attorney’s office and because of this he asked questions. He had completed all of the required paperwork to be on the list of victims for this crime, he asked you why he had not been notified about anything up until that point. That point was in February. This means 8 months after our kids were killed and he had not been notified of anything. Your reply to him was and I am paraphrasing, but this is what was said ;
“My responsibility is to contact the parents and siblings, I have no obligation to contact anyone else on the list, if the parents and siblings want to funnel that information to others that is their choice, but that is not my responsibility and not my offices responsibility either.”
First of all if I could go back in time I would have told you to “F” off right then. I believe I was in shock and hadn’t realized what was to come. Second there were quite a few times when siblings were not notified either. And third let’s not forget when you called Madi’s Grandpa only, not Madi’s mom or Dad or sister. Was alphabetical order used? Nope… I can’t really figure out what order your contact list is based off of, but that is your bad not ours.
After I wrote the letter to the judge I feel an apology should have happened, I was not in the wrong. An apology is not a hard thing to do unless you are a very egotistical person. Did I get an apology? Nope not even close, instead I got fired by my advocate. I got singled out and separated from our group for sending a letter about my concerns… oh and for writing in my blog my very valid concerns.
And that leads to the sentencing date and the disrespectful treatment to some of us. My former advocate made it a point to come directly up to me and tell me that my own “personal” advocate was present, and also gave me some dirty looks in the process. The prosecutor was smirking at Tyler’s Grandpa’s victims impact statement, again this is unacceptable. I am so thankful for what Madi’s uncle Lee did when he saw with his own two eyes another example of this horrible treatment. And what you and everyone else does not know is that Lee didn’t know about all of the previous examples. I am not a lawyer, but to me that proves something.