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Speranza Sentenced in Hit and Run Death of Reverend Susan Quigley


More than a year-long wait for justice comes to an end for one family Wednesday.

76–year-old Marjorie Speranza was sentenced for hitting and killing a Columbus pastor with her car and then fleeing the scene.

Wednesday, the presiding judge heard more than four hours of testimony and emotional appeals for justice.

"As we were going up I saw someone standing on the corner ready to cross the street," recalls Latasha Jackson, a witness to the accident, "A car hit her, her body flew up in the air and hit my car."

In a courtroom filled with the family and friends of Pastor Susan Quigley, Jackson describes what she witnessed the night of October 29, 2003.

"My daughter still has nightmares," she says.

In the hours following, Madison police investigators explain the proof that points to Speranza as the person who hit Quigley and drove away.

Her defense claims she didn't know it happened and still doesn't remember the crash.

Defense Sentencing Consultant Lisa Andreas says, "You can not prove that somebody did not forget."

But Quigley's fellow church pastor will never forget.

Faith Lutheran Church Pastor Bob Moberg says, "The issue here is the lack of remorse that we feel is the place closed from reconciliation and the grace of God."

In emotional appeals to the court, Quigley's husband, Peter, and son, Michael, say their lives are forever changed.

"This has been a loss for our family that is beyond comprehension," says Michael, "There are still moments that come by where I realize the depth of what she meant to us."

Peter adds, "I don't need revenge and I don't need to hate Marjorie Speranza, but I do really have a need. I need to have this made whole."

Then, for the first time, Speranza addressed the Quigley family and said she's sorry.

"I am devastated by the responsibility I have with the accident," she says, "Know that I pray everyday for your and for God's forgiveness."

Although it was the family's wishes to send Speranza to jail, the judge ruled for nearly eight years of probation, the first under home detention.

She will never drive again and must sell her car and donate the money to a charity of the Quigley's choice.

She will also do 200 hours of community service a year and she must visit the grave of Susan Quigley every year during the week of October 29.


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