Man Gets Jail, Probation in Reckless Homicide Case
Tomasz Maciaszek will serve at least 60 days for 2008 death of RHS student Christina Jungkans.
With those words, Marie Pouk said she had a measure of closure in the death of her daughter, 17-year-old Christina Jungkans.
The teen, a junior and JROTC member at Romeoville High School, died on May 9, 2008, when a speeding car smashed into the driver’s side of her vehicle as she made a left turn onto 135th Street from Hale Avenue.
On Wednesday, the man who caused the accident was sentenced to 180 days in jail, probation and community service.
“You were driving way out of control on a road that was 35 mph,” Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak told defendant Tomasz Maciaszek.
The judge found Maciaszek, 25, guilty of reckless homicide during a September 2011 bench trial, saying the Romeoville man was driving anywhere between 68 and 79 mph on 135th Street and weaving in and out of traffic before he struck Jungkans' car.
“The way you were driving, you didn’t see [Jungkans'] car, and as a result you hit [her] car, and as a result Ms. Junkgans is deceased,” Bertani-Tomczak said after making her ruling.
Last month, the judge agreed to delay sentencing for a month to allow Maciaszek’s attorneys to review Facebook postings that prosecutors hoped to use as rebuttal. Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Walsh didn’t elaborate on the content of the the online postings, but said they refuted Maciaszek’s courtroom claims of remorse.
But on Wednesday, Bertani-Tomczak denied that state’s attempt to rebut the apology Maciaszek read during a Dec. 20, 2011 court appearance.
“I’m not going to allow it,” the judge said, adding that the right of elocution, or a convict’s right to give a final statement before sentencing, is “the law of the land.”
“I’m living with my actions every day,” Maciaszek said in December. “I realize that I do not have anyone to blame but myself and at times I find it too difficult to bear. … I stand here before Christina’s family, my family, not asking for forgiveness but stating that I am only human.”
Although prosecutors recommended Maciaszek be sentenced to time in the Illinois Department of Corrections, Bertani-Tomczak gave him to 180 days in the Will County Adult Detention Center. He was immediately remanded into custody.
Several of his family members wept, but Maciaszek remained stoic as a sheriff’s deputy handcuffed him and led him away.
The judge said she will consider vacating the sentence after 60 days depending on Maciaszek’s behavior in jail.
Maciaszek also recieved two years’ probation and must pay $485 in court costs plus a $25 per month probation fee. He is required to perform 500 hours of community service, half of which must be spent talking to young people about the consequences of reckless driving, Bertani-Tomczak said.
Maciaszek is scheduled to appear in court at a March 19 status hearing.