The parents of a 12-year-old girl, Jazmin Hernandez who was struck and killed by a SUV requested to not serve any jail time for the elderly driver of the vehicle. Eighty-eight-year-old Dwight L. Moody of Delight entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of negligent homicide in Pike County Circuit Court.
The accident occurred in October near Salem on Highway 27 between Kirby and Glenwood as Hernandez was exiting a school bus to return home from school. Moody hit and killed Hernandez while driving past a stopped school bus. Pike County Prosecuting Attorney Bryan Chesshir said the bus driver followed the required protocol to let cars know to stop for kids crossing the street.
In court last week, Jazmin’s father, Miguel Hernandez, and mother Domi Rojo Lujo, asked that Moody not serve any jail time but instead pay a $2,500 fine and had to give up his driver’s license for life. “The family requested that no felonies be filed, the family requested there be no trial, the family requested that this man not spend a day in prison or jail,” Chesshir said. “I think they were also afraid that pending a felony jury trial, he would possibly die from strain or stress.”
Jazmin’s parents are still grieving their daughter’s death. “My days will never be the same. I am always going to miss her,” Rojo Lujo said. “Even though I would have wanted this man to stay in jail, this would have not brought back my daughter.” “We have understood it was an accident. And also considering the age of the man, who is very old, I do not want to see him or his family suffers in pain,” Miguel Hernandez said. “It is not just about the older. It is just about everyone needs to be more responsible
behind the wheel. If you are not in the condition of driving, then do not do it. Because we can cause pain to people that we shouldn’t,” Jazmin’s father said. “This also tells you this is a very Christian family and how family-oriented and religious they are, which would be hard for most of us,” Chesshir said.
If Moody violates the agreement and is found to be driving, he will have to spend a year in the county jail. Moody had been charges of felony negligent homicide charges brought in his against, he would have faced a possible punishment of up to 20 years in jail and fines up to $15,000