Judge ignores man’s Facebook posts, gives him jail time for reckless homicide
BY JON SEIDEL Sun-Times Media email@example.com January 18, 2012 12:16PM
Updated: January 18, 2012 6:36PM
Tomasz Maciaszek wound up in handcuffs Wednesday for the 2008 reckless homicide of a 17-year-old Romeoville High School student, even though a judge said she didn’t so much as glance at the contrite Romeoville man’s Facebook page as prosecutors hoped.
Will County Judge Amy Bertani-Tomczak sentenced Maciaszek, 25, to two months in jail for the death of Christina Jungkans. He must also serve two years of probation and do 500 hours of community service. She told him to use some of that time to teach young people about the dangers of reckless driving.
If he fails to do so, he could face another four months in jail.
Maciaszek has no criminal history beyond speeding tickets, the judge pointed out, and neither drugs nor alcohol played a role in the crash that took Jungkans’ life. Bertani-Tomczak wouldn’t let prosecutors undermine Maciaszek’s final words before sentencing, either, rejecting a set of printed Facebook pages they gave her at a hearing last month.
Maciaszek apologized for the fatal crash that day, telling the judge he’s been secluded in his room and haunted by Jungkans’ death. Assistant State’s Attorney Dan Walsh said Maciaszek’s Facebook page told a different story, though, and he asked the judge to consider it. Bertani-Tomczak delayed Maciaszek’s sentencing until Wednesday, when she handed print-outs of the page back to Walsh.
“I have not seen anything or looked at anything,” Bertani-Tomczak said.
Both hearings played out in front of Jungkans’ mother, Marie Pouk, who said she sought closure in the courtroom and a lesson for other young drivers. Maciaszek won’t serve the harshest sentence available — five years in prison — but Pouk said Wednesday his case might still send a message about the dangers of reckless driving and even save a life.
“He did get punished,” Pouk said as she left the courthouse.
Prosecutors said Maciaszek sped between 72 and 82 mph on 135th Street in Romeoville on May 9, 2008, weaving back and forth between lanes. He plowed into the driver-side door of Jungkans’ car, police said, as she tried to make a left turn from Hale Avenue. She died a short time later at Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.
Maciaszek’s attorneys disputed the credibility of witnesses who said Maciaszek was speeding that day. And they said it’s not clear whether Jungkans came to a full stop before turning or if she could see around bushes at the intersection.